- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2015

President Obama said Friday the terrorist attacks in Paris that have killed scores are “an attack on all of humanity.”

“Once again we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians,” Mr. Obama said at the White House. “This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

He said the U.S. will do “whatever it takes … to bring these terrorists to justice and to go after any terrorist networks who go after our people.”

Hours before the attacks, Mr. Obama had spoken by phone with French President Francois Hollande about an upcoming climate summit to be held in Paris beginning on Nov. 30. Mr. Obama is planning to attend that gathering.

Mr. Obama said the U.S. stands with the French “in the fight against terrorism and extremism.”

“Those who think they can terrorize the people of France or the values they stand for are wrong,” he said.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, Texas Republican, said federal authorities don’t believe there is an imminent threat against the U.S.

“While we must always remain vigilant, there are no known, credible threats to the homeland at this time,” Mr. McCaul said in a statement.

Prior to the attacks, Mr. Obama and Mr. Hollande spoke about their attendance starting Sunday at a G-20 meeting in Turkey, where the civil war in Syria and the fight against the Islamic State are on the agenda. Mr. Obama is slated to depart Washington on Saturday for a week-long trip to Turkey, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Mr. Hollande was attending a soccer match between the French national team and Germany Friday night in Paris when explosions rocked the stadium, and he was evacuated.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden called the terrorist attacks “heartbreaking” and “outrageous.”

“We will stand together. We will never bow. We will never break,” Mr. Biden said. “That’s the character of our two nations. We are bound by timeless democratic values that the cowardice and perverse ideologues of extremist networks can never match, wherever they are. Such savagery can never threaten who we are. We will respond. We will overcome. We will endure.”

Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said Americans “are united and unbowed in our support for the French people.”

“It will take time to grasp the scale of this horror, but there is one thing we already know. Terror will not prevail. We will,” Mr. Ryan said.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote on Twitter, “The reports from Paris are harrowing. Praying for the city and families of the victims.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders said, “We are all horrified by the cowardly attacks against innocent civilians in Paris.”

Mr. Sanders, who was in Des Moines, Iowa, prepping for the candidates’ debate Saturday, said that he offered his sympathy to the victims and their families.

“We stand in solidarity with the people of France, the first friend of the United States,” he said.

“My most heartfelt prayers are with the people of Paris and all the citizens of France,” added Ben Carson, a Republican White House front-runner. “The vicious terrorist attacks across Paris are the latest reminder that democracies and lovers of liberty all across the globe are under brutal assault by terrorists.”

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said the attacks are part of “an organized effort to destroy Western civilization.”

“This is a war being created by Islamic terrorists,” Mr. Bush told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “It’s not a law enforcement operation. And the mindset that, in our country, at least, needs to change to recognize it for what it is.”

The former Florida governor, whose brother George W. Bush was president during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, said Americans “need to lead in this regard.”

“We need to re-garner the alliances, fortify those alliances, reconnect with our counterintelligence and intelligence capabilities with our European allies, and engage in the Middle East to take out [the Islamic State], which is the wellspring, and more likely to be the wellspring of this type of activity,” he said. “This is the war of our time, and we have to be serious in engaging and creating a strategy to confront it and take it out.”

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham said the attack was not just on France but “an attack on human decency and all things that we hold dear.”

“My heart breaks for the families of those killed, the hostages, and the injured,” said Mr. Graham of South Carolina, who has made national security the cornerstone of this campaign. “There is a sickness in the world that has to be dealt with and the civilized world must come together to confront it. America should lead that unity.”

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