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Trump, Clinton Decry Terror After Istanbul Airport Attack

Attackers armed with guns, bombs kill at least 36, reports say. More than 147 hurt

Passengers embrace at the entrance to Istanbul's Ataturk airport, early Wednesday following a terror attack. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Passengers embrace at the entrance to Istanbul's Ataturk airport, early Wednesday following a terror attack. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

The suicide bombing at Istanbul’s international airport Tuesday brought a swift response from the leading presidential candidates, with Democrat Hillary Clinton decrying “radical jihadism” and Republican Donald Trump renewing his call to ban certain immigrants and to reinstitute the water boarding interrogation technique.  

Clinton expressed sympathy for the Turkish people after the the incident at the Ataturk International Airport that left at least 36 and more than 147 injured, CNN reported, quoting Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who said investigators suspect that the Islamic State is responsible

“According to analyses by our security forces, first indications point at Daesh as perpetrators,” Yildirim told reporters, referring to the Arabic name for ISIS.

Secretary of State John Kerry also mentioned Daesh in his response to the attack, saying, “Yes, you can bomb an airport; you can blow yourself up; that’s the tragedy. Daesh and others like it know that we have to get it right 24/7 and 365. They have to get it right for 10 minutes, or one hour.”  

No group had yet claimed responsibility.  

Bloomberg reported that none of the three attackers got past security; two of them detonated their suicide vests in the airport’s entrance hall, and one in a parking lot.  

“Today’s attack in Istanbul only strengthens our resolve to defeat the forces of terrorism and radical jihadism around the world,” Clinton said in a statement.  

Trump responded in a series of tweets, including one that said,  “We must do everything possible to keep this horrible terrorism outside the United States.”  

Trump has called for a ban on all Muslims coming to the United States, but more recently has scaled back his proposal to those coming from countries wracked with terrorism.  

In a speech in Ohio, he also raised the need to use harsh interrogation techniques, including water boarding, to find out more about attacks before they happen.  

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the Democratic Whip, warned against responding to the attack by creating new divisions.  

“Whenever terrorists attack a major global transit point, as they did a few months ago in Brussels and again today in Istanbul, they seek to erect barriers of fear that divide the free nations of the world,” Hoyer said. “But we will not be divided. We will stand together to meet the challenge of groups like ISIS, which represent the antithesis of our most important values – democracy, individual freedom, and opportunity for all.”  

The White House condemned that attack “in the strongest possible terms.” Press Secretary Josh Earnest called the airport “a symbol of international connections and the ties that bind us together.”  

He expressed Washington’s “steadfast in our support for Turkey, our NATO Ally and partner, along with all of our friends and allies around the world, as we continue to confront the threat of terrorism.”  

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in a statement that he traveled through the airport two months ago.  

“The United States stands with our ally Turkey today in condemning this attack, and we stand ready to assist them as we learn more about the perpetrators responsible for this,” Rubio said.  

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, vice chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, tweeted that the attack was “another sign that we must all be vigilant.”  

Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine responded on Twitter, saying “the violence must end.”  

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman called for a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism.  

The attack occurred just ahead of the July 4 holiday in the U.S. when authorities step up security in Washington, New York and other cities, especially at airports and other transportation centers.  

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