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Politics & Policy

What Proof Is Obama Waiting For?

In this week’s G-File. I wrote it before the FBI finally confirmed that San Bernardino was being investigated as a “terrorist attack” and before we learned that that Tashfeen Malik had pledged allegiance to ISIS. Even then, I thought the question of whether or not the couple was “radicalized” was fairly ludicrous:

Just curious: What discrete piece of info are we waiting for to get a definitive answer to that question? Because I thought it might be the thousands of rounds of ammo, the remote-control-car-bombs, the decision to abandon their six-month-old daughter, the contacts with terror suspects and, oh yeah, the murder of 14 people. But hey, that’s just me. 

 

As I said, I wrote that before the FBI confirmed this was terrorism and before we knew that Malik embraced ISIS. And yet president Obama is still not committing to the idea that this was a terrorist attack. In his weekly radio address he says:

It is entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror. And if so, it would underscore a threat we’ve been focused on for years—the danger of people succumbing to violent extremist ideologies.  We know that ISIL 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.  And even as we work to prevent attacks, all of us—government, law enforcement, communities, faith leaders—need to work together to prevent people from falling victim to these hateful ideologies.

As has been noted many, many, times — because it’s happened many, many, times — the president hates conceding the obvious when it comes to terrorism. At this point, it’s clear this is a deliberate strategy. By denying or delaying recognition of terror attacks and the terror threat he thinks he can ride out the news cycle and American attention spans and switch to another topic, say, gun control or climate change. One can’t deny that it’s worked for him. It just doesn’t speak well of him. 

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