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Trump defends Muslim travel ban in wake of London terror attack

© AFP archive

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-06-04

As the UK reels from its third terrorist attack in as many months, President Donald Trump again argued in favour of his controversial Muslim travel ban.

Trump began tweeting about the incidents an hour or so after initial news reports that seven people (ten including the terrorists) had been killed in a terrorist attack in popular district of London on Saturday night. First, he retweeted a Drudge Report item about the attacks, then provided his own message about the travel ban.

"We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!" the Republican president tweeted.

 

A few minutes later he tweeted a message of support for Londoners: "Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U. K., we will be there - WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!"

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is a Muslim, criticised Trump's ban on refugees and immigrants from certain countries back in January, calling it “shameful and cruel”.

The rivalry between the two leaders was on display again on Sunday, with Trump criticising Khan for allegedly “being politically correct” in the aftermath of the London Bridge attack.

Trump tweeted: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’”. But it was not clear what Khan statement Trump was referring to.

Khan shortly after the attack condemned the terrorists in a video message, saying: “They are barbaric cowards and there is absolutely no justification for their evil and unforgivable actions.”

At another point Khan urged Londoners to “remain calm and vigilant”, adding “we will never let these cowards win”.

Legal battle

Earlier this week, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to immediately reinstate its ban on travellers from six mostly Muslim countries and refugees from anywhere in the world. The administration argues that the US will be safer if the policy is put in place.

Lower courts have blocked the Trump policy, citing various reasons including statements Trump made during the 2016 campaign.

The legal fight pits the president's authority over immigration against what lower courts have said is a policy that purported to be about national security but was intended to target Muslims.

Trump later called Prime Minister Theresa May to offer condolences. The White House said the president "praised the heroic response of police and other first responders and offered the full support of the United States government in investigating and bringing those responsible for these heinous acts to justice."

"The United States stands ready to provide any assistance authorities in the United Kingdom may request," US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

"Our hearts are with the families and loved ones of the victims. We wish a full and quick recovery to those injured in the attacks. All Americans stand in solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom," she said.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

Date created : 2017-06-04

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