Last Updated Sep 19, 2016 1:05 PM EDT
Hillary Clinton on Monday urged Americans not to be afraid after the attacks in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota over the weekend and she reiterated her plan to take on the terror threat.
“This threat is real, but so is our resolve. Americans will not cower; we will prevail,” Clinton told reporters on the airport tarmac in White Plains, New York. “We will defeat the evil, twisted ideology of the terrorists.”
This weekend’s events, Clinton said, underscore the need to ensure state and local law enforcement have “the resources, training and intelligence” to combat the threat.
“We should also launch an intelligence surge so that we identify and thwart attacks before they are carried out,” she said.
Clinton said that the government needs to do a better job of working with technology companies and experts in Silicon Valley to intercept terrorist propaganda and recruitment efforts online. She also added that it’s “crucial” to build up trust between law enforcement and Muslim-American communities.
She said she had been in close touch with authorities in New York and had spoken to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton about the stabbing attack at a mall in St. Cloud that left nine people wounded on Saturday night. She said she plans to discuss terrorism with Egyptian Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and other world leaders on Monday who are in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
The string of attacks Saturday began with an explosion in Seaside Park, New Jersey near a charity race. No one was injured. Several hours later, an explosion occurred in Manhattan, injuring 29 people in the neighborhood of Chelsea. On Sunday night, several people were taken into custody near the Verrazano Bridge and on Monday morning, the FBI announced they are seeking 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami in connection with the bombing in Chelsea.
Since the man is an Afghan immigrant and U.S. citizen, Clinton was asked what she would say to voters who believe this further aids Donald Trump’s approach toward immigration and terrorism.
Clinton emphasized there are “millions of law-abiding, peaceful Muslims.” She also said that she is “absolutely in favor of and have long been an advocate of tough vetting” and added, “We need a better visa system.”
At the same time, she said people shouldn’t be sucked into accepting Trump’s rhetoric.
“Let’s not get diverted and distracted by the kind of campaign rhetoric coming from the otehr side,” she said. “This is a serious challenge.”
Asked how she would specifically try to prevent lone wolf attacks, Clinton said, “I think the lone wolf problem is one that we have to invest more time and more resources into combatting.”
She said an important part of the strategy is focusing on recruitment and radicalization that occurs on the Internet.
Trump’s communications director Jason Miller responded to Clinton on Monday.
“Hillary Clinton’s comments today accusing Mr. Trump of treason are not only beyond the pale, it’s also an attempt to distract from her horrible record on ISIS,” he said in a statement. “If Clinton really wants to find the real cause of ISIS, she needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror. The decision to remove all American troops from Iraq in 2011, which was vigorously supported by Clinton, created the vacuum that led to the founding of ISIS.”