Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said the United States should use waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques when questioning terror suspects, and renewed his call for tougher US border security after the attacks in Brussels.
The billionaire businessman said authorities “should be able to do whatever they have to do” to gain information in an effort to thwart future attacks, Reuters reported.
“Waterboarding would be fine. If they can expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding,” Trump said on NBC’s Today program on Tuesday, adding he believed torture could produce useful leads.
“You have to get the information from these people.”
Waterboarding, the practice of pouring water over someone’s face to simulate drowning as an interrogation tactic, was banned by President Barack Obama days after he took office in 2009. Critics call it torture.
Trump’s main Republican rival, US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, suggested heightened police scrutiny of neighborhoods with large Muslim populations.
“We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” he said in a statement.
Trump also called for increased law enforcement surveillance of mosques in the US.
“You need surveillance. You have to deal with the mosques, whether we like it or not,” Trump told Fox Business Network. “These attacks … they’re not done by Swedish people, that I can tell you.”
Islamic State claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s suicide bomb attacks on Brussels airport and a rush-hour metro train in the Belgian capital which killed at least 30 people.
Trump, who has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country, urged tougher measures to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, particularly Syrian refugees, into America.
“As president … I would be very, very tough on the borders, and I would be not allowing certain people to come into this country without absolute perfect documentation,” Trump said.
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