Vice President Joe Biden ramped up the Obama administration’s rhetoric against the jihadist group Islamic State on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 declaring the U.S. will follow the militants “to the gates of hell” after they beheaded two American journalists.
“We take care of those who are grieving, and when that’s finished, they should know: We will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice. Because hell is where they will reside. Hell is where they will reside,” Biden said in a speech in New Hampshire.
President Barack Obama has been more restrained in referring to the Islamic State after the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, released a video on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 showing the execution of journalist Steven Sotloff. Last month, Islamic State published a video showing another journalist, James Foley, being beheaded.
Before Biden’s speech, Obama said he aims to “degrade and destroy” Islamic State. The president subsequently said he wants to get to “the point where it is a manageable problem.”
Biden also used his speech to praise Sotloff and Foley.
“When these barbarians replicated with Steven what they did with Foley, who is from New Hampshire, I [think they] somehow think that it’s going to lessen U.S. resolve, frighten us, intimidate us. But if they think the American people will be intimidated, they don’t know us very well,” Biden said. “The American people are so much stronger, so much more resolved than any enemy can fully understand. As a nation, we’re united and when people harm Americans, we don’t retreat.”
View video of Biden’s remarks below.