Vice President Biden said Wednesday the U.S. would follow the Islamic militants who executed two American journalists "to the gates of hell," the same spot where he once vowed to track Osama bin Laden.

Biden opened his speech on American military prowess at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire by condemning the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"When people harm Americans, we don't retreat, we don't forget," Biden said Wednesday, mentioning New Hampshire native James Foley, who was also decapitated by ISIS in a video uploaded two weeks ago.

"We take care of those who are grieving, and when that's finished, they [ISIS] should know — we will follow them to the gates of hell, until they are brought to justice, because hell is where they will reside," Biden said to applause.

Biden used the line during the 2012 vice presidential debate when discussing the capture of Osama bin Laden, saying, "If you do harm to America, we will track you to the gates of hell if need be."

Four years earlier, then-presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also applied the phrase toward the al Qaeda commander.

"My friends, I want to stand before you now and tell you that, if I have to follow him to the gates of hell, I will get Osama bin Laden, and I will bring him to justice," McCain said.

The vice president Wednesday reiterated President Obama's remarks from Estonia earlier in the day that the latest video uploaded Tuesday showing Sotloff's murder would not intimate the U.S. from combatting the militants.

Secretary of State John Kerry said the murder was a "punch to the gut" and added the U.S. would hold those responsible accountable.