Trump outlines anti-terror plan, proposing extreme vetting for immigrants

Updated: 2016-08-16 10:12


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Trump outlines anti-terror plan, proposing extreme vetting for immigrants

Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio August 15, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON -- US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump outlined his anti-terror plan on Monday, proposing an extreme ideological vetting for all immigrants and visitors to the United States to fight what he called "Radical Islamic Terrorism."

"We will be tough, and we will be even extreme," said Trump at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio, casting the fight against "Radical Islamic Terrorism" as this generation's Cold War.

His Democratic rival Hillary Clinton as well as US President Barack Obama have refused to use the term as they think it demonizes the Muslim faith.

"The common thread linking the major Islamic terrorist attacks that have recently occurred on our that they have involved immigrants or the children of immigrants," the New York billionaire argued.

"In addition to screening out all members of the sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out anyone who have hostile attitudes toward our country or its principles or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law," said Trump.

"We should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people," he said, "I call it extreme vetting."

While claiming that if elected, his administration would be a friend to all moderate Muslims, Trump reiterated his initiatives to temporarily suspend visas from Muslim-majority countries and countries with a history of exporting terrorism.

In fighting terrorism, Trump also said he would focus on destroying the Islamic State through joint military operations with other countries, create "a commission on radical Islam," end "our current strategy of nation-building and regime change," keep Guantanamo Bay open and stop trying terror suspects in civilian courts.

"The rise of ISIS (the Islamic State) is the direct result of policy decisions made by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton," said Trump, who controversially labelled Obama and Clinton as "the founders of ISIS" last week.

"Hillary Clinton wants to be America's Angela Merkel and you know what a disaster this massive immigration has been to Germany," he told a crowd.

"My opponent wants to increase, which is unbelievable no matter who you are and where you come from, the flow of Syrian refugees by 550 percent," he said.

Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, a senior policy adviser to Trump, described Trump's strategy as "foreign policy realism," while Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Trump should take a US naturalization test himself as he prepares to propose new political hurdles for immigrants coming to the country.

"Since Donald Trump wants to impose new tests on immigrants, he should take the one test every immigrant has to pass to become a United States citizen," Reid said in a statement. "He would almost certainly fail, given his general ignorance and weak grasp of basic facts about American history, principles and functioning of our government."

Despite increasing criticism on his national security remarks from the Democrats and many Republicans including 50 senior former national security experts who issued an open letter last week saying he was too reckless to be president, Trump went on with a more nuanced tack in his Monday speech, local analysts observed.