Terror threats return as presidential issue after New York blast



(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

By Scott Lanman and Ben Brody | Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — Homeland security and terrorist threats are back on the front burner for the presidential campaign after an explosive device blew up in New York City Saturday night, injuring 29 people, and incidents in New Jersey and Minnesota earlier in the day.

Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that the New York blast “raises the stakes on the need to be really, really smart in dealing with challenges like this, both with the law enforcement community but also to make sure we’re doing what we can to stop any lone wolf attacks in the United States.”

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Kaine said the developing events show the value of having Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, in the White House.


“It’s really important. And I would say experience really matters,” he said, adding that strong alliances international and intelligence sharing are also key to combating terror threats.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who supports Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, said on CNN that “if you look at a number of these incidents, you can call them whatever you want. They are terrorism, though. There’s no doubt about that. They are terrorism.”

Illustrations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. (TNS)
Illustrations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. (TNS)

The New York incident was “obviously an act of terrorism” yet doesn’t appear to be tied to international terrorism, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

Also on Saturday, a man armed with a knife was shot to death by an off-duty police officer after reportedly mentioning “Allah” while stabbing eight people in a St. Cloud, Minn., shopping center. The attacker was “a soldier” of the Islamic State, media linked to the jihadist group said Sunday.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Christie said an explosion in a trash can when a 5K charity foot race was about to start in Seaside Park, N.J., was “clearly an act of terrorism; we just don’t know who was responsible. It was done to terrorize the people in New Jersey.”

At a rally in Colorado Springs, Colo., Saturday night, Trump announced that “a bomb went off in New York” before it was confirmed to have been an explosive device. He then used the incident to drive home his message.

“We better get very tough, folks,” Trump said. “It’s a terrible thing that’s going on in our world and in our country and we are going to get tough and smart and vigilant.”

Clinton said Saturday that she had been briefed about the bombings and the attack in Minnesota, and said she is in touch with the mayor’s office in New York. She said she’d have more to say when she has the facts.

“Obviously we need to do everything we can to support our first responders, also to pray for the victims,” Clinton said. “We have to let this investigation unfold.”

Mark Niquette and Kevin Cirilli contributed to this report.


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