The Obama administration has spent the last few days encouraging Americans not to be afraid of the Islamic State, despite attacks that killed 129 people in Paris, and new threats from the terrorist group that it will launch similar attacks inside the United States.

Speaking in Malaysia on Sunday, Obama said simply not being afraid is a key part of his strategy for fighting the group.

"[I]n addition to hunting down terrorists, in addition to effective intelligence, and in addition to missile strikes, and in addition to cutting off financing and all the other things that we're doing, the most powerful tool we have to fight ISIL is to say that we're not afraid; to not elevate them; to somehow buy into their fantasy that they're doing something important," he said, although he immediately admitted, "they're a bunch of killers."

Obama has been criticized for downplaying the capabilities of the terrorist group, but nonetheless did so again on Sunday, and said the group can't defeat the U.S. even if it decides to attack.

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