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US Republicans Call for Tough Response to Terrorism

FILE - Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, left, and Jeb Bush are among critics of the Obama administration's strategy for quelling terrorism.

In the wake of Friday’s Paris attacks by the Islamic State extremist group, some Republicans are chiding the Obama administration for what they see as inadequate responses to broadening terrorist threats.

On MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" television program Monday, U.S. Senator Frank Langford of Oklahoma accused the Obama administration of underestimating the Islamic State group and its fighters, who’ve taken command of key areas in Iraq and Syria and amassed funding to wage war on multiple fronts.

"We were treating them flippantly," said Langford, who serves on the Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security. "They’re at war with us, so we better respond," he added, noting U.S. authorities now are conducting investigations for extremists "in all 50 states."

Also on that program, presidential candidate Donald Trump called for stepping up surveillance of mosques.

Host and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough, interviewing the New York-based candidate by phone, asked whether he would consider shutting down mosques that foment a violent extremist brand of Islam.

"I would hate to do it," Trump answered, "but it’s something you’d have to strongly consider.… Some of the hatred is coming from these areas. It’s something that many people are considering and that many people are going to do."

'No empathy for enemies'

Candidate Jeb Bush told Fox News that Democrats have "no clue,'' the Associated Press reported. The former Florida governor added, "We should have no empathy for our enemies. We should destroy them.''

FILE - Senator Lindsey Graham.
FILE - Senator Lindsey Graham.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another presidential hopeful, appeared on CNN Monday with his friend and colleague, U.S. Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Addressing the growing, global movement of refugees and the potential for terrorists to lurk among them, Graham said, "Anybody coming to America needs to be vetted well.… [But] eliminating the refugee program doesn’t solve the problem. You’ve got to go in on the ground and hit them there."

Obama campaigned in 2008 on a platform of ending ground wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Graham recommended having regional armies integrated with, and led by, American and NATO troops to combat the Islamist extremists "before they hit us here at home."

McCain, the Arizona senator who was Obama’s rival for the presidency in 2008, said "failed foreign policy" caused the refugee problem. But, he added, "ISIS is not invincible."