US President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism on Feb. 18, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

Obama: We must confront ‘twisted ideologies’ that spawn violence


President Barack Obama on Wednesday said that the world is at war with those who have “perverted Islam,” and stressed the importance of reaching out to youth most at risk of being successfully recruited by radical groups.

“No religion is responsible for terrorism, people are responsible for violence and terrorism,” Obama said during a summit on countering the spread of violent radicalism.

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Leaders from 60 different countries traveled to Washington for the summit, which focuses on working with local communities to identify youth most at risk of being successfully targeted by radical groups.

“Groups like al Qaeda and [ISIS] exploit the anger that festers when people feel that injustice and corruption leave them with no chance of improving their lives,” the president wrote in an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. “The world has to offer today’s youth something better.”

The gathering comes shortly after terror attacks in Copenhagen and Paris and as ISIS expands its reach beyond the Middle East.

“Our campaign to prevent people around the world from being radicalized to violence is ultimately a battle for hearts and minds,” Obama wrote.

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Al Qaeda, Barack Obama and ISIS

Obama: We must confront 'twisted ideologies' that spawn violence