Former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said Sunday there are no easy ways to stop homegrown terrorists and President Trump’s proposed travel ban targeting Muslims is counterproductive.
“We need to recognize that there will be homegrown extremists in all of our countries and there is no easy way to predict and defeat every single one of them,” Susan Rice said on ABC’s “This Week” in response to the deadly terrorist attack Saturday night in London.
Ms. Rice, who also served as President Barack Obama’s national security advisor, said that to protect Americans from such attacks, which appeared to be carried out by radical Islamic terrorists, the U.S. must “strengthen our intelligence, our law enforcement, and work together with critical partners like the United Kingdom.”
After the attack, Mr. Trump tweeted that the violence underscored the need for U.S. courts to uphold his temporary travel ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries that are terrorist hotbeds. The ban has been blocked by federal courts, and the Trump administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the matter.
“There’s really no evidence to suggest that by banning Muslims or banning Muslims from a particular set of six countries that we would make ourselves here in the United States safer,” said Ms. Rice. “And that’s, I believe, one of the major reasons why the courts thus far have been very skeptical of the travel ban.”
She said the ban is also likely to backfire by spurring extremism in Muslim communities.
“There’s a very real risk that by stigmatizing and isolating Muslims from particular countries and Muslims in general that we alienate the very communities here in the United States whose cooperation we most need to detect and prevent these homegrown extremists from being able to carry out the attacks,” she said.
“We need the cooperation of our Muslim communities. We need the cooperation of all Americans. They need to feel that they are valued and part of this challenge that we face together as nation. And by stigmatizing a subset of ourselves, or a subset even or foreigners, we make that much more difficult. It’s counterproductive,” said Ms. Rice.