- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

President Obama’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday described the Islamic State as a “brutal terrorist group” that Mr. Obama is determined to destroy.

Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said she doesn’t do politics and said President Obama is focused on the threat that is posed from the Islamic State and homegrown violent extremists.

“And he is determined to destroy ISIL, which is why he talked yesterday about the progress in our campaign against that brutal terrorist group,” Ms. Monaco said on CNN’s “New Day,” using an acronym to refer to the group, which is also known as ISIS.

“I call it a brutal terrorist threat from ISIL,” she said. “I call ISIL basically a hybrid threat that we’re facing. It is at once operating as an insurgency, operating with military tactics and we’re seeing that, but we’re rolling them back from the territory they once occupied.”

“They are, of course, a brutal terrorist group undertaking directed attacks like we saw in Paris and Brussels, but also inspiring individuals to commit acts of violence wherever they are,” Ms. Monaco said. “And that’s the threat that, frankly, we are concerned very, very much about.”

“We’re concerned about their ability to spew their hatred, their violent and brutal message through the internet and to recruit, radicalize, and mobilize individuals to violence wherever they are,” she said.

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump had called on Mr. Obama to step down for not using the phrase “Radical Islam” in the wake of the terrorist attack in Orlando over the weekend.

Mr. Obama, in turn, ripped into critics who say he should use such a phrase to identify the enemy, calling the argument over the label a “political distraction” on Tuesday.

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