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Trump calls for Muslim patrols, torture in wake of Brussels attacks

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Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump echoed rival Ted Cruz on Tuesday in calling for patrols of Muslim neighborhoods in the U.S., and said the country must begin torturing terror suspects to get information out of them.

Speaking on CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer, Trump, reiterated his call for a ban on Muslims entering the country, saying there’s “no choice” after a terror attack Tuesday in Brussels that left dozens dead.

{mosads}“You’re going to make certain exceptions, and exceptions on heads of state and some of these people and I’m not saying we don’t do that,” Trump said. “But we have a real problem and people don’t have any idea what’s going on. We have a government that’s impotent, a government that doesn’t get it…it doesn’t understand what’s happening.”

At least 34 people were killed in Brussels on Tuesday after bombs went off at the Zaventem airport and a subway stop. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has claimed credit.

The attacks come after the arrest last week of Salah Abdeslam, a suspected gunman in the terror attacks in Paris late last year. Abdeslam was taken into custody in a suburb of Brussels with a heavy population of Muslims.

Trump said Abdeslam should be tortured to get information out of him.

“He’ll be talking a lot faster with torture,” Trump said. “If he’d have talked you might not have had to blow up all these people dead and all these people horribly wounded because he probably knew about it, I’d be willing to bet that he knew about this bombing that took place today.”

Trump argued that the U.S. must change its policies on enhanced interrogation techniques because terror groups like ISIS are playing by their own rules.

“What I would do is — look, to change our law on the water-boarding thing, where they can chop off heads or drown people in heavy steel cages and we can’t waterboard,” Trump said. “So we have to change our laws so we can fight at least on an almost equal basis….they have no laws whatsoever that they have to obey.”

When asked if he’d go further than merely waterboarding suspected terrorists, Trump responded: “Absolutely.”

“I’d go further, I’d listen to the military people but I’d go further,” he said.

Trump argued that most military generals are privately in favor of torture, but won’t say it publicly because that would be politically incorrect.

“We’re fighting by different rules,” Trump said. “They have no rules or regulations and can blow people up, and have bombs so vicious with the nails and the glass and all the things come spewing out, blinding people and destroying people, and we have rules and regulations and we can’t water-board because it’s a little bit of a tough thing.”

Trump dismissed the argument that waterboarding is illegal under international law, saying it’s a regulation developed by “eggheads” who have no idea what they’re doing.

And Trump echoed a call from Cruz to have the police patrol Muslim neighborhoods in the U.S to look for suspicious activity.

“I would support that 100 percent,” Trump said, arguing that local police have a far better understanding of what’s going on in their neighborhoods.

The Texas senator’s call for patrolling Muslim neighborhoods has provoked backlash among Democrats and liberal groups, who say it is demonizing a religious minority to capitalize politically on a terror attack.

“We have to be a lot tougher,” Trump said. “Right now they’re looking at us as weak, soft, stupid people.”

Tags Donald Trump Ted Cruz

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