The president addressed the nation from the Oval Office on Sunday

By Maria Mercedes Lara
Updated December 06, 2015 08:40 PM
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President Barack Obama sent a strong message regarding ISIS when he spoke from the Oval Office in a special address on Sunday night in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings that left 14 dead.

“The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it,” he said. “We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that confronts us.

“We will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless.”

Obama continued by confirming what a source had already previously told PEOPLE on Saturday – that authorities have found no evidence the two shooters in the San Bernardino, California, attack on Dec. 2 were being “directed by an organization overseas,” although they had been radicalized.

The president also laid out his plan to combat ISIS and other terrorist organizations around the world. Obama said that while he has authorized thousands of air strikes during his seven years as president, he wants Congress to vote once and for all on how to properly confront ISIS. However, he did note that he doesn’t think that America should get “drawn into a long and costly ground war.” Obama also noted that he was working with other countries to try end the ongoing war in Syria.

On the home front, the president said that he wants Congress to act to make it so that no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun – a point that was brought up in the wake of the San Bernardino attacks. He also said that Congress should vote to make it “harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons.”

He added that while the government cannot monitor every possible terrorist within the country, “what we can do and must do is make it harder for them to kill.”

Obama also noted that he didn’t want this to come off as “a war between America and Islam,” which he said would play into ISIS’ plan.

“ISIL does not speak for Islam, they are thugs,” he added.

The president also made a reference to presidential hopeful Donald Trump‘s recent claim that he would support a database and ID cards to track and monitor Muslim Americans in the U.S.

“We must reject proposals that Muslim Americans should somehow be treated differently,” Obama said. “It plays into the hands of groups like ISIL.

“We are on the right side of history,” he continued. “We were founded upon a belief in human dignity Let’s make sure we never forget what makes us exceptional. Freedom is more powerful than fear.”