Obama: Feds to see if more can be done to stop homegrown terror

Originally published: April 30, 2013 9:49 AM
Updated: April 30, 2013 11:15 AM
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Barack Obama answers questions during his new

Photo credit: AP | President Barack Obama answers questions during his new conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (April 30, 2013)

President Barack Obama says a national security review following the Boston Marathon bombings will look at whether there is more the government can do to stop people within the United States who might become radicalized and plan terror attacks.

One of the dangers the U.S. faces now, Obama said, is people who might decide to attack because of “whatever warped, twisted ideas they may have.”

Obama said that based on what he’s seen so far, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security did what they were supposed to before the attack.


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But he said the review was needed to find out whether more can be done to prevent this type of attack by people within the United States who may become radicalized.

Obama said, “This is hard stuff.”

Obama also strongly suggested that he’d consider military action against Syria if it can be confirmed that President Bashar Assad’s government used chemical weapons in the two-year-old civil war.

Asked about Syria, the president said that while there is evidence that chemical weapons were used inside the country, “we don’t know when they were used, how they were used. We don’t know who used them. We don’t have a chain of custody that establishes” exactly what happened.

If it can be established that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, he added, “we would have to rethink the range of options that are available to us.”

“Obviously there are options to me that are on the shelf right now that we have not deployed,” he said, noting that he had asked Pentagon planners last year for additional possibilities.

Obama also asserted that he still retains influence in the capital despite recent setbacks.

Obama says “things are pretty dysfunctional on Capitol Hill.” But he invoked Mark Twain to declare that rumors of his political demise are exaggerated.

He said he remains confident that he and Congress can still achieve significant legislation. He specifically cited immigration and predicted that overhaul in the law would be a “historic achievement.”

Obama, however, was unable to win any gun control measures and the government is now trying to deal with across-the-board spending cuts that Obama had once worked to avoid.

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