Clinton unveils counterterrorism strategy, takes aim at GOP

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday laid out her approach for defeating the Islamic State and homegrown terrorism, while warning against the 'bluster and bigotry' of her Republican rivals. 

Craig Lassig/Reuters
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks about her counterterrorism strategy during a campaign stop in Minneapolis, Minn., Tuesday.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Tuesday took a swipe at her Republican rivals' proposals for defeating Islamic State, saying "bluster and bigotry are not credentials for becoming commander in chief."

During a campaign stop in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the former secretary of state also addressed the issue of homegrown terrorist attacks such as the San Bernardino, California massacre that left 14 people dead earlier this month.

Clinton spoke just hours before the Republican candidates met in their fifth televised debate on CNN, with combating Islamic State and militant attacks at the top of the agenda.

She cited remarks by her Republican opponents in making her case for why any comprehensive plan to defeat terrorism must not alienate moderate Muslims within the United States and overseas who are potential allies in the fight against Islamic State.

"Shallow slogans do not add up to a strategy," Clinton said of her potential opponents.

"Promising to 'carpet bomb until the desert glows,'" Clinton continued, referring to a statement by US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, "makes you sound like you're in over your head."

Her reference to "bigotry" was a reference to Republican front-runner Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States.

The former US senator and first lady outlined a multi-point plan for how she would work to defeat Islamic State in the United States and overseas.

Her proposals include a broader target for air strikes in Syria; more in-depth visa application reviews for all individuals who have spent time in areas where Islamic State is active; and tighter gun-control laws, including reinstating a ban on the sale of assault weapons.

Clinton said the United States should expect more terrorist attacks and must enlist the help of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to identify potentially radicalized individuals on social media platforms. The married couple who shot 14 people to death in the San Bernardino rampage on Dec. 2 have been described by authorities as inspired by Islamic State.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is treating the attack by U.S.-born Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his Pakistani-born wife Tashfeen Malik, 29, as an act of terror. Malik is thought to have made comments related to being radicalized on social media platforms before entering the United States.

Clinton said Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are a "powerful force" the country can use to defeat Islamic State and that the tech sector and the government have to "stop seeing each other as enemies" and work together.

(Reporting By Amanda Becker; Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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