US lawmaker on suspected Islamic radicals: 'Kill them all'

AFP , Monday 5 Jun 2017

A US member of Congress has called for deadly force against extremists following the weekend terror attack in London, saying any "radicalized Islamic suspect" should be hunted down and killed.

"Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter," Clay Higgins, a first-term Republican congressman and former police officer, wrote in a Facebook post Sunday that included a photograph of one of the apparent London attackers lying on the ground.

"Hunt them, identity them, and kill them. Kill them all," he added. "For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all."

The statement was posted a day after Saturday's attacks, in which seven people were killed when a van smashed into pedestrians on London Bridge and three assailants went on a stabbing spree.

Higgins, like US President Donald Trump, is a political novice. He won in the southern state of Louisiana, in a district that voted overwhelmingly for Trump over Hillary Clinton.

A human rights group condemned the lawmaker's statement, which appeared to back dispensing justice without trial.

"Rep. Higgins's sentiments fundamentally clash with the core principles upon which this country was founded," The American Civil Liberties Union's Louisiana chapter said Monday on Twitter.

The congressman also wrote that the free world -- "all of Christendom," in his words -- "is at war with Islamic horror."

The comment appears to align with a theme of certain strains of the US conservative far-right, which has portrayed the battle against jihadists as part of a broader clash between Christian society and Islam.

Higgins gained notoriety as a police officer in Louisiana, where he was nicknamed "the Cajun John Wayne" for several tough-talking "Crime Stoppers" videos for a local news station.

In one clip that went viral, Higgins, holding a military-style rifle, called gang members "heathens" and "animals" and said they would be "hunted" down by him and other officers.

Higgins resigned from the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office in early 2016 under pressure about the videos.

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