WASHINGTON: A US Congressman doubled down Monday on his call for deadly force against extremists after saying any “radicalised Islamic suspect” should be hunted and killed following the weekend terror attack in London.
Clay Higgins, a first-term Republican and former police officer made the remarks on Facebook, in a post that included a photograph of one of the apparent London attackers lying on the ground.
“Not a single radicalised Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter,” he wrote on Sunday.
“Hunt them, identity them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”
The comments came after seven people were killed when a van smashed into pedestrians on London Bridge and three assailants went on a stabbing spree late on Saturday.
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 embraced by conservatives in the US far-right, which has portrayed the battle against jihadists as part of a broader clash between Christian society and Islam.
On Monday, Higgins held firm, saying his goal remained “prioritizing national security and protecting American lives.”
“I’ve never been accused of being politically correct. I call things the way I see them,” he said.
“We are a world at war. The enemy is radicalized Islamic jihadists.”
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.