President Barack Obama told Americans on Sunday night what the government is doing to keep them safe following the mass killing by a couple in California last week that is being investigated as an act of terrorism.
In a rare Oval Office address, Obama laid out the security steps the United States has taken since Islamic State’s Nov. 13 assaults in Paris that killed 130 people. Obama said during a recent visit by French President Francois Hollande to the White House after the Paris attacks that the United States and its coalition would step up efforts to counter Islamic State, or ISIL.
Obama also said he will use “every single aspect of American power” to destroy the militant group.
“We will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless,” Obama said.
Obama also gave an update on the investigation of U.S.-born Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his Pakistani wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, in the San Bernardino shooting. He said the couple went down “the dark path of radicalization.”
Obama said there was no evidence the “San Bernardino killers” were directed by any terrorist organization.
The president also said that the U.S. would not be drawn into a ground war in Syria and Iraq.
“That’s exactly what groups like ISIL want,” Obama said, calling it a “cult of death.”
The president called on Muslims to confront interpretations of Islam that lead to violence.
But, he said, “it is the responsibility of Americans of every faith to reject discrimination” against Muslims.
“When we travel down that road, we lose,” Obama said.