×

Obama on weekend attacks: We can't 'succumb to fear' they try to inspire

President Barack Obama on Monday asked Americans not to succumb to fear after multiple recent attacks, pledging to keep fighting the so-called Islamic State terror group abroad and its ideology at home.

Obama spoke in New York City following explosions there and in New Jersey and a separate stabbing of several people at a mall in Minnesota over the weekend. Obama did not say if authorities believe the attacks were inspired by ISIS or another international terror group. He added that the FBI is investigating the Minnesota attack as a "possible act of terror," but said authorities see no connection between it and the New York and New Jersey bombings.

The attacks did not kill anyone, but injured dozens. "We are extremely fortunate and grateful that nobody was killed," Obama said.

"They are trying to hurt innocent people, but they are also trying to inspire fear in all of us. ... We all have a role to play as citizens in making sure we don't succumb to that fear," Obama said.

President Barack Obama makes a statement following a weekend bombing attack that left dozens injured in New York, U.S., September 19, 2016.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Barack Obama makes a statement following a weekend bombing attack that left dozens injured in New York, U.S., September 19, 2016.

Shortly before Obama spoke, Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in the New York area bombings, was taken into custody in New Jersey, sources told NBC News. Police captured him after a shootout in Linden, New Jersey, in which two officers were injured and Rahami was shot.

Obama said the U.S. would keep fighting to take ISIS territory in the Middle East while battling the ideology that can inspire lone wolf attacks at home.

"As we take more of their territory, it exposes ISIL as the failed cause that it is," Obama said.

He added that authorities will keep working with technology companies to identify and prevent possible threats in the U.S.

Obama was in New York for a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee meeting. He will also hold separate meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq.