WASHINGTON (AP) -- World leaders, nervously eyeing a growing threat from Islamic State militants, will seek to build a united front this week against the violent extremist group and keep it from creeping beyond its borders.
Yet international plans to counter the Islamic State group -- with combined military might, diplomatic pressure on abetting partners and economic penalties -- still pale in comparison to the extremists' ruthlessness and command of the swath of land it controls across parts of northern Syria and Iraq. For the second time in as many weeks, Islamic State militants released a video showing the beheading of an American journalist, and governments from Britain to Saudi Arabia to Australia warned of the potential of their citizens joining the fight -- and then bringing the violence back home.
"Our objective is clear, and that is to degrade and destroy ISIL so that it's no longer a threat," President Barack Obama said Wednesday during a visit to Estonia, using an alternate acronym for the Islamic State. He later headed to Wales for an annual meeting of leaders of the NATO military alliance.
Separately, during an appearance in Maine, Vice President Joe Biden declared that the U.S. will pursue the militants to "the gates of hell."
In Wales, British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was considering joining a nearly monthlong U.S. airstrike campaign in Iraq against the Islamic State group, adding to military aid that London has already approved.
"We'll always ask ourselves what is in our national interest," Cameron said, according to Britain's Guardian newspaper. "Not ruling things out, but going forward in a deliberate, sensible, resolute way."