U.S. ramps up intelligence cooperation, to review ISIS fight at summit
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[March 28, 2016]
By Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States
has ramped up intelligence cooperation and will review international
efforts to combat Islamic State militants after the Brussels attacks
during a nuclear summit with world leaders next week, President Barack
In his weekly address broadcast on Saturday, Obama expressed
condolences to the families of the Americans and others killed or
hurt in the suicide bombings in Brussels on Tuesday.
"Yesterday, we learned that at least two Americans were killed. We
pray for their families and loved ones," he said. "At least 14
Americans were injured. And we pray for their full recovery, along
with everyone else affected by these attacks."
Obama returned on Friday from a trip to Latin America, where he took
criticism for attending a baseball game in Cuba and for dancing the
tango in Argentina in the aftermath of the attacks.
The president did not address that criticism in his address, but he
emphasized that fighting Islamic State, also known as ISIL, was a
top priority that had included greater U.S. intelligence
"We’re also working to disrupt plots against the United States and
against our friends and allies. A team of FBI agents is on the
ground in Belgium supporting the investigation," he said.
"We’ve ramped up our intelligence cooperation so that we can root
out ISIL’s operations. And we constantly review our homeland
security posture to remain vigilant against any efforts to target
the United States."
Obama will meet with foreign leaders including Chinese President Xi
Jinping for a nuclear summit in Washington on Thursday and Friday.
He said he would use that opportunity to review joint
counter-terrorism efforts and ensure the world remained united on
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The president also pushed back again against rhetoric from
Republican presidential candidates aimed at Muslims within the
"As we move forward in this fight, we have to wield another weapon
alongside our air strikes, our military, our counterterrorism work,
and our diplomacy. And that’s the power of our example," he said.
"We have to reject any attempt to stigmatize Muslim-Americans, and
their enormous contributions to our country and our way of life."
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has called for a
temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. Fellow
Republican candidate Ted Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, has called
for heightened police scrutiny of neighborhoods with large Muslim
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Robert Birsel)
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