Tue | Aug 14, 2018

Obama says beheading videos won't intimidate US

Published:Thursday | September 4, 2014 | 12:00 AM
President Barack Obama (centre), accompanied by the leaders of Baltic States, (from left) Estonia president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Latvia president Andris Berzins and Lithuania president Dalia Grybauskaite, speaks after their meeting at Kadriorg Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia, yesterday. - AP


President Barack Obama said yesterday that the United States will not be intimidated by Islamic State militants after the beheading of a second American journalist, and will build a coalition to "degrade and destroy" the group.

Obama still did not give a timeline for deciding on a strategy to go after the extremist group's operations in Syria. "It's going to take time for us to be able to roll them back," the president said at a news conference during a visit to Europe.

The president's comments came after he said the United States had verified the authenticity of a video released Tuesday showing the beheading of freelance reporter Steven Sotloff, two weeks after journalist James Foley was similarly killed.

Obama vowed the US would not forget the "terrible crime against these two fine young men".

"We will not be intimidated. Their horrific acts only unite us as a country and stiffen our resolve to take the fight against these terrorists," Obama said. "And those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget, and that our reach is long and that justice will be served."

Separately, Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement: "Barbarity, sadly, isn't new to our world. Neither is evil."

"We've taken the fight to it before, and we're taking the fight to it today," Kerry said. "When terrorists anywhere around the world have murdered our citizens, the United States held them accountable, no matter how long it took. And those who have murdered James Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria should know that the United States will hold them accountable, too, no matter how long it takes."