President Obama on Sunday night declared that the Wednesday shooting in California was an act of terrorism, after spending several days holding open the idea that it might have been a case of workplace violence.

"[I]t is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West," Obama said from the White House in a rare Oval Office speech.

"They had stockpiled assault weapons, ammunition and pipe bombs," he said. "So this was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people."

Obama's hesitance to call the shooting terrorism led to sharp criticism from Republicans, who said Obama continues to ignore the growing threat the Islamic State now poses to the U.S., and to Americans on U.S. soil.

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