, SAN BERNARDINO, United States, Dec 5 – President Barack Obama insisted Saturday that America “will not be terrorised” as the Islamic State group praised the perpetrators of the California mass shooting as “soldiers” of its caliphate.
The president’s pledge and extremists’ praise followed an announcement by the FBI that it was treating the investigation into the San Bernardino rampage as an act of terrorism.
“It is entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror,” Obama said of Syed Farook, 28, and his 29-year-old Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik, who slaughtered 14 people and wounded 21 others at a year-end office party on Wednesday.
In its English-language radio broadcast Saturday, IS stopped short of explicitly claiming the attack but referred to the assailants as soldiers of the Khilafah (caliphate) who were “killed in the path of Allah.”
In the group’s Arabic-language radio broadcast earlier in the day, however, they referred to the attackers simply as “supporters of the Islamic State.”
Obama said in his weekly address that the Islamic State and other terrorist groups “are actively encouraging people – around the world and in our country – to commit terrible acts of violence, often times as lone wolf actors.”
“We are Americans,” he added. “We will uphold our values – a free and open society. We are strong. And we are resilient. And we will not be terrorized.”
The carnage marked the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since the Newtown school massacre in 2012, when 26 people, mostly children, were shot dead.
The New York Times Saturday published an editorial on its front page for the first time since 1920, using the rare, prominent placement to urge gun control and lash out at politicians following the attacks.
“It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency,” it said.