TIME Foreign Policy

Biden Says U.S. Will Follow ISIS ‘to the Gates of Hell’

Joe Biden
Jewel Samad—AFP/Getty Images U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Civil Society Forum on the sideline of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 4, 2014

"Because hell is where they will reside"

Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the U.S. will follow the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) “to the gates of hell,” in remarks just a day after an ISIS video showed the beheading of a second American journalist.

“If they think the American people will be intimidated, they don’t know us very well,” Biden said during a speech at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, in which he referred to ISIS militants as “barbarians” who should reside in hell.

“The American people are so much stronger, so much more resolved than any enemy could fully understand,” Biden said. “As a nation we are united, and when people harm Americans we don’t retreat. We don’t forget.”

Biden called Steven Sotloff, the American executed in the video released Tuesday, “brave and compassionate.”

President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters in Europe on Wednesday, said “justice will be served” against ISIS, which also executed American journalist James Foley.

“Our objective is to make sure that [ISIS] is not an ongoing threat to the region,” Obama said. “And we can accomplish that.”

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