Tweeting the morning after 13 people were killed in Barcelona after a van plowed through crowds in a busy pedestrian area, President Donald Trump called on American courts to “give us our protective rights back” to stop “Radical Islamic Terrorism.”
While it’s unclear what “protective rights” the president was referring to, he has previously advocated for an expansion of the US’ mass surveillance capabilities, and Mike Pompeo, Trump’s CIA director, has fought even narrow restrictions on the surveillance state.
The president has been heavily criticised by human rights and civil liberties groups for his stances on combating terrorism, including his support for the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for the use of torture in the interrogation of detainees, and for his ban on immigrants from several predominantly Muslim countries, among other positions.
Trump has also come under fire for focusing exclusively on terrorism perpetrated by adherents of radical Islam. Earlier this week, the president refused to label an attack on a group of protesters by a white supremacist in Charlottesville terrorism, even though the Justice Department is investigating the crime as an act of terror.
Radical Islamic Terrorism must be stopped by whatever means necessary! The courts must give us back our protective rights. Have to be tough!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2017
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