Obama: ISIL’s extreme ideology needs to be dealt with

President Barack Obama said that the United States, together with its international partners, continues its successful battle against the extreme Muslim group: “I last updated the American people on our campaign in June, shortly after the horrifying attack in Orlando. In the weeks since, we’ve continued to be relentless in our fight against ISIL and on the ground in Syria and Iraq. ISIL continues to lose territory tragically, however we have also seen that ISIL still has the ability to direct and inspire attacks, so we’ve seen terrible bombings in Iraq, and in Jordan, in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan attacks, on an Istanbul Airport, a restaurant in Bangladesh, Bastille Day celebrations, in a church in France, and a music festival in Germany, in fact the decline of ISIL in Syria and Iraq appears to be causing it to shift to tactics that we’ve seen before and even greater emphasis on encouraging high-profile terrorist attacks including in the United States. As always our military diplomatic intelligence Homeland Security and law enforcement professionals are working around the clock with other countries and with communities here at home to share information and prevent such attacks.  Over the years they prevented many, but as we’ve seen it is still very difficult to detect and prevent lone actors or small cells of terrorists who are determined to kill the innocent and are willing to die and that’s why, as we discussed today, we’re going to keep going after ISIL aggressively across every front of this campaign,” said Obama.

The President noted that the US-coalition continues to target the leaders of the Islamic State, promising that its leadership will never be safe, yet noted that crushing the Islamist organization on the battlefield was not enough, as the extreme ideology behind the group continues to pose a major threat that must be dealt with:  “We continue to take out senior ISIL leaders and commanders, this includes ISIL’s Deputy Minister of War Mohammed al Azhari, a top commander in Mosul. None of Isis leaders are safe and we’re going to keep going after them.”

“It should be clear by now, and no one knows this better than our military leaders, that even as we need to crush ISIL on the battlefield their military defeat will not be enough so long as their twisted ideology persists and drives people to violence. Groups like ISIL will keep emerging and the international community will continue to be at risk in getting sucked into the kind of global whack-a-mole where we’re always reacting to the latest threat or lone actor. That’s why we’re also working to counter extremism more broadly including the social economic and political factors that help fuel groups like ISIL and al Qaeda”.