Barack Obama says US faces real threat from radicalised individuals

Barack Obama says US faces real threat from radicalised individuals
Washington:  Citing Wisconsin Gurdwara shootout last year that killed six Sikh worshippers, the US President Barack Obama, has expressed concern over increasing instances of acts of violence inside the country by home-grown terrorists.

"We face a real threat from radicalised individuals here in the United States. Whether it's a shooter at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, a plane flying into a building in Texas, or the extremists who killed 168 people at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, America has confronted many forms of violent extremism in our history," Obama said yesterday.

"Deranged or alienated individuals - often US citizens or legal residents - can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad. And that pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood and the bombing of the Boston Marathon," Obama told a select audience at the National Defense University wherein he gave a major policy speech on counter-terrorism.

"So that's the current threat - lethal yet less capable Al Qaeda affiliates; threats to diplomatic facilities and businesses abroad; homegrown extremists. This is the future of terrorism. We have to take these threats seriously, and do all that we can to confront them. But as we shape our response, we have to recognise that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11," Obama said.

Later in a fact sheet on domestic radicalisation, the White House said even as the US guards against dangers from abroad, one cannot neglect the daunting challenge of terrorism from within our borders.

"This threat is not new, but technology and the Internet have increased its frequency and lethality.
To address this threat, the President's Administration did a comprehensive review in 2011. The best way to prevent violent extremism is to work with the American Muslim community, which has consistently rejected extremism," it said.

"Our communities must work together to understand the signs of radicalisation, and partner with law enforcement when an individual is drifting towards violence. And these partnerships can only work when we respect that Muslims are a fundamental part of the American fabric," the White House said.

Story First Published: May 24, 2013 08:35 IST

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