TALLINN, Estonia (AP) -- President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the United States will not be intimidated by Islamic State militants after the beheading of a second American journalist and will build a coalition to "degrade and destroy" the group.<br />
Obama still did not give a timeline for deciding on a strategy to go after the extremist group's operations in Syria. "It'll take time to roll them back," the president said at a news conference during a visit to Europe.<br />
Obama's comments came after he said the United States had verified the authenticity of a video released Tuesday showing the beheading of freelance reporter Steven Sotloff, two weeks after journalist James Foley was similarly killed.<br />
Obama vowed the U.S. would not forget the "terrible crime against these two fine young men."<br />
"Our reach is long and justice will be served," Obama said.<br />
In the Sotloff video, a masked militant warns Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant group continue, "our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people." (See separate story.)<br />
Obama responded that he will continue to fight the militant threat and the "barbaric and ultimately empty vision" it represents.<br />
"Our objective is to make sure that ISIL is not an ongoing threat to the region," he said, using an acronym for the militant group. "And we can accomplish that. It's going to take some time and it's going to take some effort."
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
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