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Obama condemns London attack but uses word 'terror' passively

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President Obama condemned the terrorist attack on a British soldier on the streets of London Wednesday, but parsed his statement on the horrific incident carefully.

The soldier was hacked to death with a meat cleaver by a man who shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the killing and said he was seeking revenge for the soldier’s participation in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

SEE RELATED: Analysts: London attack appears to be work of home-grown extremists

“I condemn in the strongest terms the appalling attack against a British service member in Woolwich on May 22,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.

But the president only referred to the attack as an act of terorr somewhat passively, noting that the United States “stands resolute with the United Kingdom, our ally and friend, against violent extremism and terror.”

“There can be absolutely no justification for such acts, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim, the police and security services responding to this horrific act and the communities they serve, and the British people,” he continued.

Mr. Obama also said the U.S. relationship with the U.K. Is “especially important during times of trial,” highlighting the upcoming June G-8 summit, which will be held in Ireland, as a time both countries will discuss the global security challenges our countries face together.

The term “global security challenges” also pointedly avoids the word “terror” or the Bush administration’s common use of the label Global War on Terror in an effort to move the country away from the mindset of fighting an unending war against an amorphous enemy, according to senior administration officials.

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About the Author

Susan Crabtree

Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at

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