- The Washington Times - Monday, September 19, 2016

Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday cited a terror-filled 48 hours in the U.S. over the weekend as reason why President Obama’s Middle East refugee program must end.

Mr. Cruz, who has consistently criticized the White House’s policy on asylum seekers, renewed efforts to rally the public behind his cause. Terror attacks in Minnesota, New Jersey and New York over the weekend came just days after it was revealed that Mr. Obama would allow 110,000 refugees into the U.S. in fiscal 2017.

“Congress should act to prevent Americans who have traveled abroad for training from returning here, and to stop the flow of refugees from hotbeds of terrorism in the Middle East that President Obama is determined to bring to our country,” Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t overcome our enemies by pretending they don’t exist, and undermining our first line of defenders. Only together, clear-eyed and determined, can we defeat this foe.”

Mr. Cruz’s statement came shortly after Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was shot and arrested in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in connection with multiple bombings in New York and New Jersey. A pressure-cooker bomb wounded 29 people in New York City and an officer was shot trying to apprehend the suspect.

Nine people were also stabbed Saturday inside a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, by a man who referenced Allah and asked at least one victim about Islam. An off-duty police officer named Jason Falconer shot and killed the suspect, who has not yet been identified.

“We must avoid the trap of misconceiving these attacks as isolated incidents somehow disconnected from the larger ideological struggle against jihad,” Mr. Cruz told the Free Beacon. “It is past time to take off the blinders and call the enemy what it is: radical Islamic terrorism engaged in a coordinated campaign designed to disrupt our very way of life.”

Mr. Obama also addressed the weekend’s attacks Monday, but was careful to describe “potential acts of terrorism.”

“At this point we see no connection between [the Minnesota] incident and what happened here in New York and New Jersey,” the president said during a press conference in New York. “The FBI is investigating the Minnesota incident as a potential act of terrorism. We will direct the full resources of the federal government to make sure that the investigation goes forward aggressively.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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