- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 22, 2016

President Obama called the terrorist attacks in Brussels Tuesday “yet another reminder the world must unite” to defeat terrorism.

“We must be together, regardless of nationality, or race or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism,” Mr. Obama said in Havana, where he altered the start of a previously scheduled speech to the Cuban people.

“We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally in Belgium to bring to justice those who are responsible,” the president said, calling the attacks “outrageous.”

The attacks, believed to be carried out by the Islamic State, killed at least 31 people and wounded dozens of others at an airport and subway station in Belgium.

The president spoke by phone with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel to offer his condolences on behalf of the American people, and offered U.S. assistance in investigating the attacks, the White House said.

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, a Republican candidate for president, said Mr. Obama “ought to return home” from Cuba to deal with the latest national security crisis, rather than continue his trip as planned to Argentina.

PHOTOS: Haunting images of the terror attacks on Brussels airport, subway

“He ought to work with .. the heads of state around the world,” Mr. Kasich said. “They ought to assemble teams and they need to examine these vulnerabilities we have, because without effective human intelligence, without coordination and cooperation among all the civilized nations, we get these gaps and these gaps get exploited by these people who are intent on killing civilized people.”

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, another GOP presidential candidate, criticized Mr. Obama for “going to baseball games with Castro” while U.S. allies are being attacked by terrorists.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Americans are “saddened and horrified” by the attacks in Brussels.

“We send our collective condolences to the victims and their families and we are thinking of the Belgian people in this dark hour,” Mr. McConnell said in a statement.

The Kentucky Republican said defeating the Islamic State and other terrorist groups “will require concerted action by the military, our intelligence community, and our international partners. Our nation stands in solidarity with the people of Belgium and we will renew our determination to prevent more senseless violence against the innocent.”

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, called the attacks “horrific.”

SEE ALSO: Islamic State claims credit for Brussels airport, subway attacks; dozens killed, hundreds hurt

“This is a terrorist attack at the heart of Europe,” Mr. Ryan said. “As our countries have always done, we must confront this threat together. We must defend democracy, and defeat terror.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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