Obama: ‘Non-Islamic’ Domestic Terrorists’ Have Killed ‘at Least as Many Americans’ as Islamists
INSKEEP: "In October, before San Bernardino, a Justice Department official stated that he believed that domestic terrorists were a greater threat to the United States than international groups like al-Qaida or ISIS. Do you believe that still now, after San Bernardino and Paris?"
OBAMA: "I don’t know the exact citation that you are referring to. If you just —"
INSKEEP: "John Carlin on October 14."
OBAMA: "If you just look at the numbers, then non-Islamic, non-foreign-motivated terrorist actions have killed at least as many Americans on American soil as those who were promoted by jihadists. But what we have also seen is ISIL evolve, because of the sophistication of their social media, to a point where they may be inspiring more attacks, even if they are self-initiated, even if they don’t involve complex planning, than we would have seen two years ago, three years ago, five years ago. Now this isn’t unprecedented. The Fort Hood attack was inspired by Anwar Awlaki, who was with AQAP, al-Qaida in the peninsula or in Yemen, and we’ve seen periodically self-radicalization through the Internet or jihadist propaganda. But ISIL is more systematic and more effective in their media, in their online presence, and that raises additional concerns. So part of what we have to do in response is to ramp up countering that narrative online, working with local communities to make sure that we are inoculating ourselves and our young people from this kind of recruitment. It is a more complicated problem because of the fact that a couple like the San Bernardino couple, you don’t see in a way that you would see an organization that is planning a complex plot like 9/11. So in that sense we have some new dangers, some new concerns that we have to deal with. But this is not completely new. It’s something that we’ve known could happen for quite some time, and it’s something that, as I said over at the National Counterterrorism Center today when I visited, it’s something that we’ve got some incredibly effective intelligence folks working on every single day."