Al Qaeda is the biggest killer of innocent Muslims in the world, US President Barack Obama has said.
"I think it's important to understand that we are at war against a very specific group -- al Qaeda and its extremist allies that have metastasised around the globe, that would attack us, attack our allies, attack bases and embassies around the world, and most sadly, attack innocent people regardless of their backgrounds, regardless of their religions," Obama said yesterday in an interview to YouTube.
"Al Qaeda is probably the biggest killer of innocent Muslims of any entity out there," said Obama in his first ever interview to the YouTube as the US President.
"So that is our target and that is our focus. Now, they employ terrorist tactics, but we need to be clear about who our target is," he argued.
The US President said United States has to fight terrorism on all fronts.
"We have to fight them in very concrete ways in Afghanistan and along the border regions of Pakistan where they are still holed up.
They have spread to places like Yemen and Somalia, and we are working internationally with partners to try to limit their scope of operations and dismantle them in those regions," he said.
"But we also have to battle them with ideas. We have to help work with the overwhelming majority of Muslims who reject senseless violence of this sort, and to work to provide different pathways and different alternatives for people expressing whatever policy differences that they may have," he said.
Obama felt his administration has not done as good of a job on that front.
"We have to project economically, working in country like a Yemen, that is extraordinarily poor, to make sure that young people there have opportunity. The same is true in a place like Pakistan," Obama said.
"So we want to use all of our national power to deal with the problem of these extremist organisations. But part of that does involve applications of military power," he said.
Acknowledging that it was the hardest decision that a Commander-in-Chief can make to send US troops into battle, Obama said: "I thought it was very important to make sure that we had an additional 30,000 troops in Afghanistan to help train Afghan forces so that they can start providing more effective security for their own country in dealing with the Taliban, and ultimately allow us to remove our troops but still have a secure partner there that's not going to be able to use that region as a platform to attack the United States."