Officials in New Jersey have taken into custody Ahmad Khan Rahami for his suspected ties to this past weekend’s bombings in New York and New Jersey. With two police officers and nearly 30 civilians injured, these attacks on American soil have understandably invigorated the debate regarding tactics to combat domestic terrorism. And, seeing that national security is a predominant issue in this year’s presidential election, it was inevitable that these most recent incidents would seep into the campaign trail. As such, Trump spoke with Fox and Friends this morning about how he would curtail major security threats from his seat in the Oval Office.
Praising America’s top ally in the Middle East, Trump explained that the United States should model Israel’s anti-terror strategies. “In Israel they profile. They’ve done an unbelievable job as good as you can do … and they’ll profile. They see somebody that’s suspicious they will profile. They will take that person and they’ll check them,” said the Republican candidate. “Do we have a choice? Look what’s going on. Do we really have a choice? We’re trying to be so politically correct in our country and this is only going to get worse. This isn’t going to get better. And I’ve been talking to you guys for years, and I’ve been saying it.”
Calls for profiling individuals who appear to be malicious or suspicious have been divisive, to say the least. Those on the more conservative end argue that the policy would prevent future attacks from taking place and believe that the movement toward political correctness has prevented civilians from speaking up about suspicious activity out of fear of being labeled a racist or bigot. On the more liberal side, however, opponents argue that profiling for terror suspects inherently leads to racial and ethnic prejudice, which then correlates with increased divisiveness in the country. Trump’s calls will inevitably invoke the same level of disagreement on the campaign trail, as Hillary’s team has already used the remarks to brand Trump as an extremist and a demagogue.
When asked about additional strategies for combatting terror threats in the future, however, Trump provided less detail. “Like knock the hell out of them. And we have to get everybody together and we have to lead for a change,” he said. “We’re going to have to be very tough and you have other countries over there that we are getting devastated far more than we are. And you have to get them together. It’s called leadership. And they have to fight. You know, they have to fight the battle. The battle is over there. And we have to fight the battle and we can’t let any more people come into this country and when we have bad ones — you know, we have people going over fighting for ISIS and coming back and we know they are fighting for ISIS and we take them. Once you leave this country, you fight for ISIS, you never come back.”
While Trump’s inability to provide much detail is nothing new, these increased calls for profiling are certainly bound to raise some eyebrows among politicos.
What do you think about Trump’s plan?