- The Washington Times - Monday, September 19, 2016

White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded to the hunt for terror suspect on Ahmad Khan Rahami on Monday by stressing America’s “narrative fight” with the Islamic State.

Mr. Earnest, asked by CNN’s Chris Cuomo if Mr. Rahami, a naturalized citizen from Afghanistan, was sufficiently vetted prior to entering the U.S., chose not to speak on this weekend’s bombing in New York that injured 29 people. Instead, he focused on the importance of “debunking” false narratives and not painting Muslims with a “broad brush.”

“When it comes to ISIL, we are in a fight, a narrative fight with them, a narrative battle, and what ISIL wants to do is they want to project that they are an organization that is representing Islam in a fight and a war against the West, and a war against the United States,” Mr. Earnest said while referring to the terror group by an acronym, the Washington Free Beacon reported. “That is a bankrupt, false narrative. It’s a mythology, and we have made progress in debunking that mythology.”

President Obama who is in New York for United Nations General Assembly events, told reporters Monday that the Islamic State will “never beat us.”

“As Americans, we do not and never will give in to fear,” he said.

Mr. Rahami, 28, was shot and captured by police in Linden, New Jersey, just hours after the interview. Authorities will question him on a similar bombing that occurred Saturday in Seaside Park during a Marine Corps charity run.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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