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After Bomb Blasts, Clinton Charges Trump Helps Islamic State To Recruit

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After Bomb Blasts, Clinton Charges Trump Helps Islamic State To Recruit

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to the media before boarding her campaign plane at the Westchester County airport in White Plains, New York, U.S. September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Democrat Hillary Clinton on Monday accused Republican rival Donald Trump of helping Islamic State militants recruit more fighters as bomb blasts in New York and New Jersey made national security a top concern on the U.S. presidential campaign trail.

Trump, meanwhile, said Clinton’s “weakness” while Democratic President Barack Obama’s secretary of state had emboldened terrorists worldwide to attack the United States.

Both candidates tried to use the attacks to flex their national security credentials, with world leaders gathering in security-heightened New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly.

Clinton said Trump’s rhetoric against what he calls “radical Islamic terrorism” is helping Islamic State, also known by the acronym ISIS.

“We know that a lot of the rhetoric we’ve heard from Donald Trump has been seized on by terrorists, in particular ISIS, because they are looking to make this into a war against Islam rather than a war against jihadists,” she told reporters in White Plains, New York.

The Trump campaign responded by saying Clinton bears some responsibility for the violence by not persuading Obama to leave a residual force of U.S. troops in Iraq when she was his secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

Obama and the Iraqi government failed to reach agreement at the end of 2011 on extending a U.S.-Iraqi status of forces agreement, and most American troops were withdrawn.

Trump has sought to tie Clinton to the decisions of the Obama administration.

“Hillary Clinton’s weakness while she was secretary of state has emboldened terrorists all over the world to attack the U.S., even on our own soil. They are hoping and praying that Hillary Clinton becomes president so that they can continue their savagery and murder,” Trump said on Facebook. He did not give specifics.

The campaigns weighed in after the weekend of bomb incidents and multiple stabbings in central Minnesota as the Nov. 8 election loomed closer.

In the most serious incident, a bomb went off in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood on Saturday, injuring 29 people; an unexploded pressure-cooker bomb was found nearby. Earlier that day, a pipe bomb went off in Seaside Park, New Jersey, further south of the city.

On Sunday night, as many as six explosive devices were found by a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, just west of New York.

On Monday, an Afghanistan-born American suspected in some of the incidents was arrested in nearby Linden, New Jersey, after a gun battle with police. Authorities had said earlier they wanted to question Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, about the Chelsea and Seaside Park bombings.

The incidents, just days after the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, put the United States’ most populous city on edge.

In central Minnesota, a man stabbed nine people at a mall on Saturday before being shot dead by an off-duty policeman. On Sunday, Islamic State claimed responsibility, calling the man “a soldier.” The FBI said it was investigating the attack as a potential act of terrorism. Reuters could not verify the claim of responsibility.

Trump throughout much of the last year has called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. The U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.

On Aug. 31, Trump said, that, if elected, he would suspend immigration from “places like Syria and Libya” and would order a list of regions and countries be drawn up from which “immigration must be suspended until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put into place.”

At a speech in Philadelphia on Monday, Clinton called for vigilance.

“This is a fast-moving situation and a sobering reminder that we need steady leadership in a dangerous world,” she said.

The renewed focus on terrorism came as Clinton and Trump prepared for their first debate next Monday at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, east of the city.

With world leaders gathered in New York for the U.N. conclave, Clinton was expected to meet leaders of Japan, Egypt and Ukraine later on Monday while Trump was expected to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

A U.S.-led coalition has been fighting ISIS mainly through air strikes in Syria and Iraq.

Trump, who has based much of his campaign message on arguing that the United States is no longer safe and that he alone can protect the nation, told Fox News on Monday morning that he expects more attacks.

“I think this is something that maybe will … happen more and more all over the country,” Trump told Fox News.

Asked if he was saying there would be more attacks, he replied, “Yeah, because we’ve been weak. Our country’s been weak.”

(Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson, Alana Wise and Emily Stephenson in Washington, writing by Steve Holland; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to the media before boarding her campaign plane at the Westchester County airport in White Plains, New York, U.S. September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria



  1. AgLander September 19, 2016

    We are Americans. We stand tall, we do not cower in fear when confronting such radicalism and hatred which is driven by a twisted ideology with the goal to harm all of us. I’m talking about Hillary Clinton, of course, and Americans will stand bravely against her special brand of evil on Nov. 8th and drive her from our midst.

    1. Thoughtopsy September 19, 2016

      I note that the only person quoted repeatedly as saying divisive, radical, and violence/hate promoting things… and doing it regularly… is Donald Trump.

      Clinton says one thing… a self evident fact about the “basket of deplorables” that polls show IS actually over half of Trump’s base… and get’s hammered for “criticising voters”.

      …Meanwhile Trump spews a never-ending stream of slurs, insults, put-downs, racist rhetoric, misogyny, policies that demonise minorities and immigrants… promotes actual torture “and worse”, states his intentions to commit war crimes, and repeatedly suggests that his followers punch, or kill people they don’t like or who disagree with them, or who turn up in the “wrong place”.

      If you’re looking for “radicalism and hatred driven by a twisted ideology” I suggest that Trump exactly fits your bill.

      Out of idle curiosity I’d like to know two things:
      1) Do you agree with Trump that waterboarding and even worse torture should be used against America’s enemies… and that specifically targeting and killing the families of terrorists should be policy?
      (Note: Both are war crimes)
      2) Do you think Trump tells the truth?

      1. InformedVoter September 20, 2016

        You seem to be out of touch with reality. Trump is saying things that have been proven true and you lefties can’t handle the truth. If you wish to upset a conservative, tell them a lie (like you did). If you wish to upset a liberal, tell them the truth (like Trump does).

    2. I Am Helpy September 20, 2016

      Yes, everyone that disagrees with your anti-American neo-Nazi philosophy is “evil”.

    3. itsfun September 20, 2016

      Hillary and Obama are responsible for there even being a ISIS. They helped create ISIS and now won’t even say what ISIS is. Now that we have shown the world we pay ransom, the number of Americans captured will greatly increase.

      1. 788eddie September 20, 2016

        Nice try, itsfun.

        Fortunately, people can actually check historical facts to see that it was the G.W. Bush policies that led directly to the rise of ISIS.

        1. InformedVoter September 20, 2016

          Nice try, but you are totally incorrect. “ISIS grew out of the Obama/Clinton ineptitude in Iraq and Libya” direct quote from Nolan Finley of Detroit News, Sept 11, 2016. “Under Obama, the global influence of the United States is in full retreat. He will leave the world a more dangerous place”. Pretty strong words of condemnation of Obama and HilLIARy!

          1. 788eddie September 20, 2016

            Sorry, (not) InformedVoter, but it it you who needs to review history; ISIS is made up of Sunnis who were disenfranchised members of the Sadam Hussein regime. When he was deposed, the Shiites took over, instead of having a power-sharing situation. The rise of ISIS could be interpreted as the Sunni revenge. Of course, If G.W. Bush had not gone back into Iraq (on false charges of “weapons of mass destruction), then Sadam Hussein could still be in power, Sadam Hussein would still be holding the Iranians in check, and ISIS would most likely never have developed.

          2. InformedVoter September 21, 2016

            I don’t accept your re-write of history. Nolan Finley, of the Detroit News is the informed person who made these statements about ISIS and Obama and HilLIARy. His staff provided the facts that allowed him to accurately state history. You are just like all the other low information crowd, you make stuff up and openly lie to protect Obama and HilLIARy. You low information folks just can’t handle the truth!

          3. 788eddie September 22, 2016

            Whether you accept it or not, (mis-) informed, there are plenty of independent and reliable sources tha will back me up.

            Please read more on this in an above post.

          4. InformedVoter September 27, 2016

            Finley works for the Detroit News, a conservative newspaper. Finley is a centrist and supports Johnson and rattles against Trump. In Sunday’s Detroit Free Press (extremely left newspaper) as a primer for the debate, they took on Trump’s comments. They even used Politifact. To the claim about ISIS being created with Obama and Clinton, they said “yes” it could be traced to the actions they took in 2011! They said other factors lent to ISIS coming from Al Q., but accepted that Trump was largely correct. So, there you have it. There are plenty of biased left sources that refute your statements – or should I say opinions?

          5. 788eddie September 22, 2016

            Nolan Finley is known for very right-wing conservative views, and it’s not surprising that he would try to pass that off, even though it’s blatantly incorrect, and I suspect you are aware of this, (mis-) informed.
            As explained earlier,, and everyone else seems to know this, ISIS is basically a Suuni organization. Sunnis were what made up Sadam Hussein’s support in his regime. When we went into Iraq, we upset the power structure (remember Colin Powell’s admonition to GWB, “You break it; you bought it.” When GWB’s occupation leaders decided to break up Sadam’s armed forces, the Suunis, being a minority, were outnumbered by the Shiites, who took revenge on them for their maltreatment during Sadam’s reign.
            The Suunis headed West, away from the land of the Shiites. When they regrouped and began to organize, they tried to establish a new power base, calling it a caliphate; ISIS.

            The only part of this that President Obama was a part of was in carrying out the Distribution of Forces memo, signed by George W. Bush (a wise move by our former President).

            Because of civilian Iraqi deaths at the hands of US troops, Iraqi President Malaki came under great pressure from Shiite forces to hold American soldiers accountable. We did not want Americans, to have to be arrested and go to trial in Iraq. St President G.W. Bush threatened to pull all American troops out of Iraq, unless they were indemnified. Malaki refused, so GWB signed the memo setting a deadline to pull all American troops out of Iraq. President Obama followed through on that memo; rightly so.

      2. johninPCFL September 20, 2016

        Oh bullshit. GWB fired and disarmed all of the Iraqi military, and the generals, etc. from the military became isis.

        1. itsfun September 20, 2016

          And Obama rearmed them. and created ISIS

          1. johninPCFL September 20, 2016

            Complete bullshit. Isis armed themselves from the ammo bunkers that GWB left unguarded after invading the wrong country.

          2. itsfun September 20, 2016

            Obama armed them by pulling everyone out before the bunkers could be cleaned out. Obama created ISIS.

          3. johninPCFL September 21, 2016

            More bullshit from your endless supply.
            Iraqi military were fired during THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, the army did not secure the ammunition DURING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, and former Iraqi military went about forming Isis then. BUSH signed the agreements specifying when we would leave Iraq, Obama extended the stay by a year and ultimately left because US military were exposed to being arrested and hauled before Iraqi courts.
            Learn some history dummy.

          4. itsfun September 21, 2016

            more name calling and proving you have a weak mind trying to express itself.

          5. johninPCFL September 21, 2016

            Right. Posting news reports from the time proving my points has no impact on the closed “mind” of the Trump supporter. You are pathetic.

          6. johninPCFL September 21, 2016

            “in 2008 George W. Bush signed the U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement. It included a deadline of 31 December 2011, before which “all the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory””

            From the Bush Whitehouse archives:
            “As we further transition security responsibilities to the Iraqi Security Forces, military commanders will continue to move U.S. combat forces out of major populated areas so that they are all out by June 30, 2009.”

          7. johninPCFL September 21, 2016

            From the WSJ:
            “The Iraqi military and their Baathist leaders melted into the countryside, many taking their weapons with them.

            On April 9, the U.S. Army occupied the banks of the Tigris River and the U.S. Marine Corps entered Baghdad. Saddam’s statue was toppled, marking the symbolic end of the combat phase of operations.

            What were anticipated to be relatively quick and easy post-conflict operations went badly. The ORHA team selected to administer post-conflict Iraq was soon replaced by the more robust Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).

            The CPA made several controversial decisions, which complicated Iraq’s reconstruction. It fired Baathists from the top layers of management in government departments; it formally dissolved the Iraqi army (which was in massive disarray anyway); and it shut down state-run enterprises to make way for private companies.”

    4. 788eddie September 20, 2016

      So sad how disillusioned you are, Ag. So sad.

  2. The lucky one September 20, 2016

    True, Trump is a disgusting POS who would be even more of an embarrassment than was Dubya but I think Obama’s drone war has created a lot more jihadists than the rantings of a blowhard.

  3. Jon September 20, 2016

    Trump talks tough but never offers any policies. He says his great amazing plans are a secret. Only alt.right white supremacists/nationalists like itsfun, aaronniceguy, and other feeble minded cowards believe that. Trump demonstrated his toughness when the president of Mexico and a pastor in Flint, MI backed the loudmouth buffoon down. Actions speak louder than words and Trump’s actions scream coward.

    1. TiredOfTheHaters September 20, 2016

      Trump actually causes more domestic anti-Muslim hate crimes than solving terrorism and ISIS. Hate crimes are at an all time high these days. The data was just released.

      1. Jon September 20, 2016

        Thank you. I just saw it too.

  4. TiredOfTheHaters September 20, 2016

    She’s either a war monger hawk or too soft on terrorism. You Berniebots and Repubs can’t have it both ways. Just realize she has the right mix on the war against it.


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