National Security

Obama: Terrorist Orgs Have Not ‘Successfully Planned And Executed’ Attack On US During My Tenure

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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President Barack Obama used the last national security speech of his tenure to review his legacy, specifically the claim that he prevented terrorists from planning and executing an attack on U.S. soil.

“Over last eight years, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland,” said Obama, while speaking to troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.

Obama’s assertion appears to focus on the more conventional al-Qaida-model of terrorist attacks. He did not take into account unconventional approach of the Islamic State, and the attacks its approach has inspired over the last two years.

Several successful terrorist attacks, including those in San Bernardino, Orlando and the New York metropolitan area, were carried out after ISIS propaganda radicalized American netizens.

A key component of the ISIS strategy involves a decentralized process for engaging in terrorist attacks, as opposed to the heavily coordinated al-Qaida strategy used during 9/11. Instead, ISIS leaders call upon followers in foreign countries to engage in attacks at home. The terrorist group provided instructions and manuals for adherents in its online publications and propaganda videos, including everything from ideal target locations to what kind of knives are the most deadly.

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