In a rare Oval Office speech address on the threats of terror, US President Barack Obama has said that the killings in San Bernardino were “an act of terrorism” designed to kill innocent people.
The FBI is investigating the mass shooting by a married couple that left 14 dead. Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife Tashfeen Malik, 29, were killed in a shootout with police.
IS on Sunday had said in a radio broadcast that the couple that carried out the attack were IS supporters, but gave no indication that IS was involved in its planning.
The FBI is also looking into reports Malik posted a message on Facebook pledging allegiance to IS around the time of the attacks.
The president said, “It is our responsibility to reject proposals that Muslims must be treated differently. That plays into the ideas of ISIL. We cannot turn against each other. It is not a war against America and Islam.ISIL does not speak for Islam, they are thugs.”
Describing the danger of terror real, he urged Congress to decide if the prolonged fight against terrorism could be continued.
He said, “I have authorised U.S. forces to take out terrorists abroad precisely because I know how real the danger is. If Congress believes,as I do, that we are at war with ISIL, it should vote to authorise the continued use of military force.”
This was only the third Oval Office address of his presidency – they are reserved for events of national importance.
Obama concluded on a profound note saying that “Freedom is more powerful than fear.”
He said, “Let’s make sure we never forget what makes us exceptional. Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear.”