KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
- Trying to reassure a nation on edge, President Obama said yesterday that the Islamic State group "cannot strike a mortal blow" against the U.S., and he warned that overreacting to the Paris attacks would play into extremists' hands.
"We will destroy this terrorist organization," he vowed.
Ending a trip to Asia, Obama implored Americans not to let the specter of terror cause them to compromise their values or change the way they live.
"We do not succumb to fear," he said. "The most powerful tool we have to fight ISIL is to say that we are not afraid, to not elevate them, to somehow buy into their fantasy that they're doing something important."
Since Islamic State terrorists killed 130 in France a week ago, Obama's strategy has come under repeated questioning. He dismissed the group's global prowess of ISIS and said, "They're a bunch of killers with good social media."
Rejecting the notion of an existential threat, Obama said ISIS "can't beat us on the battlefield, so they try to terrorize us into being afraid."