Speaking as law enforcement officers captured the man suspected of planting bombs around New York City, US president Barack Obama had a simple message.
“Showing the entire world that as Americans we do not and never will give in to fear is going to be the most important ingredient in defeating those who would carry out terrorist acts against us,” Obama said.
The president, arriving in New York for the meeting of the United Nations General assembly this week, praised the cooperation between federal and local law enforcement agencies in investigating the incidents.
While he spoke, police officers across the Hudson River in New Jersey arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami, the individual widely sought in connection to the bombings. Rahami’s name became widely familiar in the US today (Sept. 19) after federal officials asked mobile phone companies to alert their users to the manhunt this morning.
Obama praised the citizens of New York and New Jersey for their cool response to the explosions on Saturday and to the discoveries of other explosives, disarmed by authorities, in both states. “Folks around here, they don’t get scared,” Obama said. “They are tough, they are resilient, they go about their business every single day.”
And he called on the media to avoid exaggerating threats and spreading false information.
“Remember what terrorists and violent extremists are trying to do—they want to inspire fear in all of us and disrupt the way we live, and undermine our values,” the president said. “Neither individuals nor organizations like ISIL can ultimately undermine our way of life.”
With that, Obama set off to meetings with global leaders, including the Iraqi prime minister, that will doubtless address the fight against ISIL and individuals inspired by the militant Islamist group.
There is no information yet connecting Rahami to ISIL, but a knife attack Saturday in Minnesota does appear linked.