Obama admits: San Bernardino massacre ‘an act of terror’

After several days of delay and after focusing on workplace violence or gun rights, the Obama administration is finally conceding that the San Bernardino massacre was a Muslim terror attack.  

By: AP and World Israel News Staff
San Bernardino shooting

Security forces search for a suspect in San Bernardino, Calif. (AP/Chris Carlson)

After much delay, President Barack Obama conceded Saturday that this week’s deadly California shootings that killed 14 and wounded 21 were “an act of terror” carried out by terrorists who were “possibly radicalized.”

The president’s comments came during his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, a day after the FBI said it was investigating Wednesday’s shootings as “an act of terrorism.”

FBI Director James Comey said evidence thus far indicates the terrorists showed signs of radicalization, but were not part of a broader terrorist network.

Federal officials revealed that Tashfeen Malik, the woman who took part in the mass shooting in San Bernardino had pledged support for the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group before she carried out the attack with her husband.

Several Republican presidential candidates had quickly labeled the shootings an act of terrorism and faulted Obama for not saying so immediately.

ISIS Praises Attacks

Meanwhile, ISIS’ official radio station Al-Bayan aired a statement saying the shooting was carried out by two “supporters” of ISIS.

While praising the attack, the group stopped short of claiming responsibility for it. The Al-Bayan report Saturday echoed a claim carried Friday by the ISIS-affiliated Aamaq news agency.

The radio report did not refer to the perpetrators as members of ISIS. Terrorists affiliated with ISIS who carry out attacks are commonly referred to in the group’s propaganda as “lions,” “fighters” or “mujahedeen.”

Obama will address the US from the Oval Office Sunday in prime time about steps the government is taking to keep people safe after the San Bernardino terror attack.

The White House says that Obama will provide an update on the attack and will also discuss the broader threat of terrorism. He will talk about the nature of the threat, how it has evolved and how he plans to defeat it.

He will talk more about his determination that ISIS must be destroyed, and he will make the case that the United States must draw on the nation’s values — its commitment to justice, equality and freedom — to prevail.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday conveyed the condolences of the Israeli nations to the US in wake of the Islamic attacks.

“The people of Israel stand with the American people as they mourn those murdered Wednesday in San Bernardino. We send our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wish the wounded a speedy recovery,” he said in a statement.