Unfair criticism of Obama on domestic terror

I am by no means a staunch supporter of Barack Obama, but I still do think that some of the criticism that he has received with respect to dealing with terrorism has been unfair. In particular – while one might argue that he has not done enough to suppress the threat from the Islamic State (IS) – it does not seem right to claim that he has systematically underplayed the threat from domestic terrorism. On this topic, the following is my letter to the editor in The Wall Street Journal:

Your editorial about a jihadist revival misrepresents President Obama’s position on domestic terrorism (“The Terror This Time,” Review & Outlook, Dec. 5). You claim that Mr. Obama systematically has tried “to minimize the terror risk on U.S. soil” and cite as evidence his May 23, 2013 speech at National Defense University.

But if you read the transcript from that very speech, the president clearly said both that “we face a real threat from radicalized individuals here in the United States” and that “alienated individuals—often U.S. citizens or legal residents—can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad.”

It is also available to read here.

Simon Hedlin

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