The Latest: Obama: IS not an existential threat to the US
Mar. 23, 2016
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The Latest on President Barack Obama's visit to Argentina (all times local):
President Barack Obama says the Islamic State group isn't an existential threat to the United States.
He says groups like that can't destroy or defeat America, and they don't produce anything. Obama says the terrorist organization is made up of vicious killers and murders, and they have perverted one of the world's great religions. Obama says a primary goal of the Islamic State group is to strike fear and disrupt civilized societies.
But he says it's very important that societies not respond with fear.
Obama commented at a news conference with Argentine President Mauricio Macri, one day after the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for terrorist attacks Tuesday in Belgium that killed more than 30 people.
President Barack Obama says it's challenging to find and identify very small groups of people who are willing to die in a terrorist attack, but he says the U.S. will not single out Muslim communities for more surveillance.
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has responded to the bombing attacks Tuesday in Brussels by saying law enforcement should be empowered to "patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized."
But Obama says any approach that singles out Muslim communities is wrong and "would reduce the antibodies we have to resist terrorism."
Obama says he just left a country in Cuba that engages in such surveillance and the notion that the U.S. would do so "makes no sense."
President Barack Obama is pledging that the United States will go after the Islamic State group aggressively and he says the world must be united against terrorism.
Obama says the U.S. will also providing any assistance it can to investigate the bombing attacks in Brussels.
Obama is speaking Wednesday about the Brussels attacks during a joint press conference with Argentine President Mauricio Macri. He's visiting Argentina after spending three days in Cuba.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the bombing attacks in Brussels, which killed at least 34 people and wounded more than 200.
Obama's strategy to combat terrorism has focused on pursuing IS leadership and shrinking its safe havens in Iraq and Syria, and pursuing a political resolution to the Syrian civil war.