"We will do what’s necessary to protect Americans and see that justice is done for what we saw with the barbaric killing of Jim Foley," Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz told reporters in Massachusetts on Friday.
"When you see somebody killed in such a horrific way, that represents a terrorist attack," Schultz said. "We see that as an attack on our country when one of our own is killed like that."
Despite direct threats to the United States from militant group ISIS, the administration says has seen no evidence of the Islamic State planning other acts of terrorism on American soil.
"But that does not mean that we’re not going to be very mindful that they could quickly aim to pivot to attacks to western targets outside of the region," Schultz said. "If they show the intent or they show plotting against the United States, we’ll be prepared to deal with that as necessary."
This all comes at a time when further escalation to combat the threat of ISIS in Iraq seems inevitable. According to the White House, the long-term goal is to stop the Islamic State in its tracks. But that will take time.
"Our contribution to that will come in many ways," Schultz said. "It comes in the form of the airstrikes that are protecting Baghdad and Erbil, that have given space for Iraqi forces to push forward against [ISIS]. It comes in the form of military assistance and advice and intelligence sharing that we have with Iraqi and Kurdish forces on the ground. It comes in the form of our political support in service of a new and inclusive Iraqi government."
"We’ve made very clear time and again that if you come after Americans, we’re going to come after you wherever you are, and that’s what’s going to guide our planning in the days to come."