President Barack Obama says the United States would overcome a terror threat presented by the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group following the California mass shooting.
“The terrorist threat has evolved into a new phase,” Obama said on Sunday night in a rare televised address from the Oval Office.
“I know that after so much war, many Americans are asking whether we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure,” he stated. “The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it.”
The US president said “ISIL does not speak for Islam. They are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death. And they account for a tiny fraction of a more than a billion Muslims around the world, including millions of patriotic Muslim-Americans who reject their hateful ideology.”
He stated that the United States would not be pulled into a protracted ground war in Syria or Iraq while fighting against ISIL.
“We should not be drawn once more into a long and costly ground war in Iraq and Syria. That’s what groups like ISIL want,” Obama said.
He called on Muslims to confront the “extremist ideology” and ally with the West in combating Daesh.
“We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam,” Obama said.
“That does not mean denying the fact that an extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities. It’s a real problem that Muslims must confront without excuse,” he argued.
On Wednesday, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 29, stormed a holiday party in San Bernardino, California, killing at least 14 people and injuring 21 in the deadliest mass shooting in the US in three years. Hours later, the couple died in a fire exchange with police.
Malik had allegedly pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group, three US officials familiar with the investigation told CNN on Friday. On Saturday, the Takfiri group also claimed the couple as its followers.