Joe Biden Goes Off Script, Calls Chattanooga Shooter A ‘Perverted Jihadist’
FBI still looking for a motive.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday called the slaying of four Marines and a sailor at a Chattanooga reserve center the act of a “perverted jihadist.”
Biden’s comments came at a memorial to the five servicemen killed in a shooting rampage by Kuwait-born Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.
“These perverse ideologues, warped theocrats, they may be able to inspire a single lone wolf to commit a savage act, but they can never, never threaten who we are,” Biden said. “When this perverted jihadist struck, everyone responded.”
The vice president’s strong words contrast with the official comments of investigators who have not yet been able to determine a motive behind the attack. The FBI has said it has not been able to determine whether the 24-year-old Abdulazeez was “radicalized” before the July 16 attacks and has been treating him as a homegrown violent extremist.
Speaking before Biden, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said officials may never know “what combination of disturbed mind, violent extremism and hateful ideology” was behind the shooting, but vowed that the United States would present a strong response.