Hillary Clinton vows to pursue extremists `in air, on ground, in cyberspace`

It comes a day after a young couple shot dead 14 people at a California holiday party.

AFP| Updated: Dec 04, 2015, 04:45 AM IST

Washington: Hillary Clinton pledged Thursday to take the fight to Islamic extremists "in the air, on the ground and in cyberspace," in echoes of Winston Churchill`s rousing World War Two speech.

It comes a day after a young couple shot dead 14 people at a California holiday party, and although officials stress it is too soon to say what their motive was, President Barack Obama said it was "possible" it was terrorism-related.

Speaking to employees at a factory in New Hampshire during a campaign stop, Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner, said that the United States must lead the fight against "violent jihadist terrorism."

She too stopped short of branding Wednesday`s shooting a terrorist attack, but in shades of then British prime minister Churchill in 1940, vowed to go after extremists -- particularly the Islamic State group -- no matter where they are.

"We have to fight them in the air, we have to fight them on the ground, and we have to fight them in cyberspace," she said.

"They`re so good on the Internet. They`re good at recruiting, they`re good at propaganda, they are good at even inciting acts of violence."

"So we do have to take this seriously and we have to get the rest of the world to join with us" in fighting extremism, Clinton said.

Clinton, who has generally taken a sharper line towards fighting Middle East violence than the current administration, also sounded a warning toward Russia, saying President Vladimir Putin, who backs Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad, could "complicate" efforts to defeat the IS group.

"If he works with us it would be a plus," she said. "If he is at odds with us, it could complicate our efforts to go after ISIS and to try to defeat them."

Clinton also seemed to express exasperation with a series of violent or aggressive events in the United States, including other recent mass shootings, amid an atmosphere of caustic rhetoric and verbal but vicious personal attacks in the 2016 presidential race.

"I want us to start acting like one nation again. You know, we`ve got too many disagreements, too much division," she said.

"There`s got to be a way to end some of the hot rhetoric and the negative attitudes that people are spewing forth.

"Because whether it`s an election or whether it`s a news program or whatever might be going on, we should roll up our sleeves and work together and solve our problems."