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Trump calls for expanded travel ban after London attack

In a series of tweets, the US president claimed that the perpetrator of the attack was known to the UK authorities and suggested that an expanded travel ban would be a proactive measure to tackle terrorism.

world Updated: Sep 15, 2017 20:57 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Donald Trump,London attack,travel ban
US President Donald Trump speaks about the bombing in London at the White House on September 15, 2017.(AFP)

US President Donald Trump used the London explosion to call for an expanded travel ban, a lighter version of which currently prevents visitors from six Muslim-majority nations from entering the country.

In a series of tweets, he claimed that the perpetrator of the attack was known to the UK authorities, called for proactive measures to tackle terrorists, and suggested that an expanded travel ban would fit the bill.

“Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!” he tweeted.

“Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner. The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!

“The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!” he posted.

As a presidential candidate, Trump had proposed a blanket ban on all Muslims from entering the US after the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack. After severe criticism, he toned it down to a temporary suspension.

Among his first actions after taking office in January was to order a ban on all citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations — Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Somalia from entering the US for 90 days and all refugees for 180 days, later struck down by the courts.

The Trump administration later came up with an order that was narrower in scope and impact. For one, it did not include Iraq. A lighter version of this executive order went into effect earlier that exempted relatives of those from these countries residing in the US.

However, the United Kingdom, one of America’s closest allies in intelligence sharing, pushed back against the suggestion the Scotland Yard was watching the perpetrators and called it speculation.

“I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said.

First Published: Sep 15, 2017 20:57 IST