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Obama Pledges U.S. Support For France In Wake Of Attacks


President Obama swiftly condemned Friday's terror attacks. He promised the United States would stand alongside France to pursue whatever terrorist network is responsible. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Present Obama described the coordinated assaults as an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians in a city that represents the values of human progress.


BARACK OBAMA: This is an attack not just on Paris. It's an attack not just on the people of France. But this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.

HORSLEY: The FBI and Homeland Security officials said last night there was no specific credible threat on this side of the Atlantic. But big city police departments mobilized extra officers just in case. U.S. officials also reached out to their French counterparts. And Obama said the American government stands ready to provide France whatever assistance it needs.


OBAMA: France is our oldest ally. The French people have stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States time and again. Now we want to be very clear that we stand together with them in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

HORSLEY: By coincidence, Obama had spoken earlier in the day with French President Francois Hollande about a G20 meeting that's set to begin in Turkey tomorrow. After the attack, Hollande decided not to attend the G20 summit, but Obama is still planning to go. Terrorism was already the focus of a working dinner at the summit tomorrow night. Just a day earlier, the United States carried out a drone strike in Raqqa, Syria, that's believed to have killed Mohammed Emwazi, the masked executioner shown in grisly ISIS videos murdering Western hostages. Last night, Obama vowed to keep the pressure on the Paris gunmen and the forces behind them.


OBAMA: We're going to do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people.

HORSLEY: Obama also struck a defiant note, insisting the people of Paris and the United States will not be cowed by these attacks, but will stand up together for their shared values of liberty, equality and fraternity.


OBAMA: And those values are going to endure far behind any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening.

HORSLEY: That sentiment was echoed by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said in a statement, terror will not prevail. We will. Scott Horsley, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Horsley is NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent. He reports on ups and downs in the national economy as well as fault lines between booming and busting communities.
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