NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani claims that Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton played a hand in the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“She helped create ISIS. Hillary Clinton could be considered a founding member of ISIS,” Giuliani told Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor.”
The former Republican presidential candidate pointed the finger at the Obama administration for allowing ISIS to run rampant.
“By being part of an administration that withdrew from Iraq, by being part of an administration that let [former Prime Minister Nouri] al-Maliki run Iraq into the ground, so you forced the Shiites to make a choice,” Giuliani said. “By not intervening in Syria at the proper time, by being part of an administration that drew 12 lines in the sand and made a joke about it.”
Giuliani said he was “embarrassed” that President Barack Obama stayed in Cuba and not come back to Washington following the deadly terror attacks in Brussels that left more than 30 dead and 200 wounded.
“Her president was sitting at a baseball game doing the wave and laughing, instead of trying to rally the West against ISIS on the day of this killing took place,” he told Fox News. “What he did yesterday embarrassed me as an American.”
The former mayor believes Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz would be the best to handle the terror group.
“I think Trump and Cruz have probably been the most specific on it, as specific as you would expect at this level of the campaign. There’s no question they would take the war to ISIS, exactly how’d they do it, they probably don’t know yet,” Giuliani said, adding that he would prefer the billionaire over the Texas senator.
In a speech Wednesday at Stanford University, Clinton called for “strong, smart, steady leadership,” arguing that recent comments from Trump and Cruz show they are not up to the task of combatting Islamic militants.
“Turning our back on our alliances, or turning our alliance into a protection racket would reverse decades of bipartisan American leadership and send a dangerous signal to friend and foe alike,” she said, referencing a call by Trump to lessen U.S. involvement in NATO. “Putin already hopes to divide Europe. If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin.”
Clinton also assailed Cruz’s call for patrolling Muslim neighborhoods.
“When Republican candidates like Ted Cruz call for treating American Muslims like criminals and for racially profiling predominantly Muslim neighborhoods, it’s wrong, it’s counterproductive, it’s dangerous,” Clinton said.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday ISIS has trained at least 400 fighters to target Europe in deadly waves of attacks.
Two of the three suicide bombers in Tuesday’s attacks, Belgian-born brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui, were known to authorities as common criminals, not anti-Western radicals until an apartment one of them rented was traced to Abdeslam last week, according to Belgian state broadcaster RTBF. Similarly, an Algerian killed inside that apartment on March 15 had nothing but a petty theft record in Sweden — but he’d signed up as an ISIS suicide bomber for the group in 2014 and returned to Europe as part of the Nov. 13 plot.
In claiming responsibility for Tuesday’s attack, ISIS described a “secret cell of soldiers” dispatched to Brussels for the purpose. The shadowy cells were confirmed by the EU police agency, Europol, which said in a late January report that intelligence officials believed the group had “developed an external action command trained for special forces-style attacks.”
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