President Barack Obama addressed the American people from the Oval Office Sunday night to discuss the ongoing investigation of last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, and the general terrorism threat that the country faces on a daily basis.
The speech marked just the third time that Obama has used the Oval Office to address the American people during his presidency. Obama spoke from the Oval Office twice in 2010, first to discuss the B.P. oil spill and then to announce the end of the U.S.’ combat mission in Iraq.
“Tonight I want to talk with you about this tragedy, the broader threat of terrorism and how we can keep our country safe,” Obama said.
The president began his address by discussing the tragedy in San Bernardino, where a man and his wife opened fire at the nonprofit Inland Regional Center, killing 14 people and injuring 21 others. Authorities are investigating the shooting as an act of terror.
“So far, we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home,” Obama said. “But it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West.”
On the night of Friday, Nov. 13, multiple coordinated attacks occurred in Paris. There were hostages at a concert, suicide bombers near the local soccer stadium and mass shootings at restaurants. However, the Paris attacks overshadowed many other events that occurred on that Friday, and the day before, as well.
In Baghdad there was a funeral bombing the same day of the Paris attacks. It killed at least 18 people and injured 41 others. The funeral was for a pro-government Shi’ite Muslim Fighter, part of the Hashid Shaabi group that helps to fight against the Islamic State, who claimed the attack as one of their own.
Religious persecution is not a new issue. In fact, one could argue that this unthinkable act of hatred has a long and drawn out history both here in the U.S. and around the world. Whether it’s the Holocaust, the mass murder of Syrian Christians or the plight of this country’s true natives, millions of human beings have been killed around the world for how they choose to worship.
We saw another example of this recently growing form of hatred two days ago, when a video was released by ISIS militants that appeared to show about 30 Ethiopian Christians being killed in Libya because of their religion. This video came just two months after a similar one was released by what is believed to be the same group of militants, killing 21 Egyptian Christians on a beach in Libya.
Everyone has heard of ISIS- an Islamic terror organization that has amplified in size in recent years. This group has kidnapped hundreds of people, executed many more, and has taken over towns and cities across Iraq.
Yet, how can one to keep up with every little activity that occurs pertaining to this group? Recently, there have been multiple accounts of terror related to ISIS, and they will be thoroughly explained.
On January 31, ISIS released a video of Japan hostage Kenji Goto being executed by “Jihadi John”, according to the Huffington Post. The video showing the execution was titled, “A Message to the Government of Japan.” This led Japan to start taking ISIS seriously as the country now realizes that they too are being targeted.