Ted Cruz replies to Bill Bratton on NYPD’s demographics unit and the fight against Jihadist terrorism
There is no better example of these “no go” zones than one neighborhood in the city of this latest horrific attack — the municipality of Molenbeek in the city of Brussels. In attack after attack, from 9/11 to Madrid to Paris to Brussels, the trail seems to come back repeatedly to Molenbeek. At least three of the terrorists of the November 2015 Paris attack grew up and lived there. In fact, one of the key terrorists of the Paris attack, Salah Abdeslam, fled back to Molenbeek where he knew he could find sanctuary. It is telling that Abdeslam effectively hid in plain sight there for weeks in the same city as the headquarters of NATO and the European Union.
Even Belgium’s own Prime Minister, Charles Michel, has admitted after the Paris attacks that “[A]lmost every time there’s a link with Molenbeek . . . It’s been a form of laissez faire and laxity. Now we’re paying the bill.”
Many European leaders are now recognizing that passively allowing the Islamist threat to fester was a serious error. We cannot make the same mistakes in America.
After the Brussels attacks, I called out the de Blasio administration for its shortsighted capitulation to its liberal allies at the expense of the safety and security of the people of New York. In response, Commissioner Bill Bratton penned an op-ed attacking my policy in this newspaper. He did not say that the work of the unit was misguided or a failure. Instead, he alleged, remarkably, that the unit “was finished” with its work and “it wasn’t serving any useful purpose.”
Bratton has a difficult job, and I am grateful for all he does to keep the people of New York safe. I also understand that politically, he has no choice but to implement the de Blasio-Obama liberal agenda. But his explanation for dismantling the unit makes no sense; it ignores the nature of the threat that we face from radical Islam.
Simply put, demographic trends are not static. They are dynamic. They change over time. The pockets of New York City that are fertile grounds for terrorist recruitment today may not be fertile grounds next year, and places without a significant radical presence right now may become hotbeds of terrorist activity in the future. To say that the work of a vital intelligence unit “was finished” is not plausible. It is the excuse of an administration grasping for anything to justify what was obviously a surrender to political correctness.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg have both stated they believe the unit was lawful and effective, and should not have been shut down.
The vast majority of Muslim Americans are law-abiding citizens. Indeed, patriotic American Muslims have provided critical assistance to our law-enforcement, intelligence and military officials to detect and disrupt jihadist plots. And we need their help in the war on terrorism.
These are dangerous times. If I am elected President, every American will have a commander in chief fiercely committed to defeating radical Islamic terrorism. This is a battle we must win. If we don’t want to become Europe, we need to put aside the political correctness, focus our efforts on stopping radicalization and do what needs to be done to keep America safe.
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