Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called it “unrealistic to say we’re going to completely shut down our borders to everyone” after the Brussels terror attacks.
“It was just terrible horror. The idea that the terrorists are continuing to strike at the heart of Europe and now Brussels and the number of casualties from what looked to be fairly sophisticated, coordinated attacks is deeply distressing,” Clinton told MSNBC this morning.
“We’ve got to stand in solidarity with our European allies as they have stood with us on so many occasions. And we have to intensify our efforts to find and prevent terrorists from ever doing this again. It’s going to be a long challenge because of a lot of factors, including, you know, the easy accessibility to powerful explosives and the mobility of terrorists in today’s world. But we’ve got to be absolutely strong and smart and steady in how we respond.”
Clinton said better coordination is needed with European officials “on tracking and following anyone who has any connection with terrorist activity or terrorism.” The Belgians have admitted they lacked the manpower to put surveillance on all who need watching.
“We have been confronting the threat of terrorism for quite some time and this is the latest terrible manifestation of it. We’ve got to tighten our security,” she said. “I talked about our visa system and our passenger name record system. When I was secretary of State, we often had some difficulties with our European friends because they were reluctant to impose the kind of strict standards we were looking for. That after Paris has changed, and we need to do much more to tighten things up. And I know our security professionals are working to do that.”
Despite the “dream” of the European Union, she noted, “we do have to be realistic about how people move from place to place, and it’s been my understanding that the Europeans are looking hard at how to better protect their borders internally.”
Clinton acknowledged Americans “have every reason to be frightened about what they see and what happened to us in San Bernardino.”
“But, remember, the terrorists are trying to undermine the democratic values that are at the root of our way of life. We cannot let them succeed,” she added. “So we have to, you know, intensify our efforts to keep America safe and to work with our friends and allies to help them be safe as well from these threats.”