Republican hopeful Carson says no to Syrian refugees in US

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Ben Carson Defends His Anti-Muslim Comment




DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said the U.S. should bar refugees from war-torn Syria because they are "infiltrated" with Muslim extremists who seek to harm America.

The comments come as Carson has taken an increasingly aggressive stance toward Muslims, and after rival Donald Trump pledged he would support deporting Syrian Muslims from the U.S.

"To bring into this country groups infiltrated with jihadists makes no sense," Carson told about 150 people at the Des Moines Rotary Club. "Why would you do something like that?"

Instead, Carson recommended that the U.S. help settle Syrian refugees in the Middle East, in places such as Turkey. In Carson's view, the U.S. could assist financially but not open its doors. He did not explain how U.S. aid could be steered to innocent refugees without falling into the hands of the extremists he believes are among them.

To see more of Carson on the campaign trail, see the photos below:

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Republican hopeful Carson says no to Syrian refugees in US
MT. AYR, IA - JANUARY 22 : Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is introduced during his 'Trust in God Townhall' campaign stop January 22, 2016 in Mt. Ayr, Iowa. Carson, who is seeking the nomination from the Republican Party is on the presidential campaign trail across Iowa ahead of the Iowa Caucus taking place February 1. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during a Liberty University Convocation in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. As retired neurosurgeon Carson has risen in the polls, media reports have revisited his accounts of acts of violence as a child, a key part of the redemption story he discusses on the campaign trail. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 06: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks to the media before speaking at a gala for the Black Republican Caucus of South Florida at PGA National Resort on November 6, 2015 in Palm Beach, Florida. Carson has come under media scrutiny for possibly exaggerating his background and other statements he has made recently. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - AUGUST 16: Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson (L) eats a piece of pizza while touring the Iowa State Fair on August 16, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Presidential candidates are addressing attendees at the Iowa State Fair on the Des Moines Register Presidential Soapbox stage and touring the fairgrounds. The State Fair runs through August 23. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
LAKEWOOD, CO - OCTOBER 29: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks during a news conference before a campaign event at Colorado Christian University on October 29, 2015 in Lakewood, Colorado. Ben Carson was back on the campaign trail a day after the third republican debate held at the University of Colorado Boulder. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks outside the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity at Iowa State University during a campaign stop, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25: Scenes around the the Value Voters Summit on September 25, 2015 in Washington DC. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson takes the stage at the event. Dr Carson speaks to the media after the speach. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Attendees wait for Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, not pictured, to arrive during a campaign stop at the birthplace of the Michigan Republican Party in Jackson, Michigan, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. Carson, the third candidate in the Republican race to have never held elected office, saw his numbers drop following the debate last week. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, listens as he attends a service at Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. Carson will be speaking at the Iowa State Fair, which is expected to host 18 presidential candidates and runs until Aug. 23. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson participates in the first prime-time presidential debate hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top-ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent national political polls. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Ben Carson, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, eats a slice of pizza as he tours the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. In a Sunday interview with Fox News, Carson doubled down on his assertion that a speech given by President Barack Obama intended to sell the American public on his nuclear deal with Iran contained 'coded innuendos employing standard anti-Semitic themes.' Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Germany's top security official said Friday that authorities had found no cases of terrorists with instructions to carry out attacks in the country mixing into the flow of incoming migrants.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said authorities had received tips from intelligence services that this could happen, but so far such concerns haven't been confirmed.

Carson later told reporters that, despite the German official's comments, terrorists "would be fools not to" try to enter the United States with Syrian refugees.

"At some point you have to use common sense and judgment," Carson said. "If you are part of the global jihadist movement, and you see large numbers of people from your area moving into the United States, wouldn't you want to infiltrate them?"

Carson's comments echo Trump, who said Wednesday, "If I win, they're going back," referring to Muslim Syrian refugees.

In an interview recorded Thursday for airing Friday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity," Trump said that if Syrians were allowed to come to the U.S., "it could be one of the greatest coups of all time."

Speaking of the huge numbers of refugees being welcomed into Germany, Trump said, "They're going to have revolutions in Germany because the German people are not exactly thrilled with what's going on."

Carson has taken an increasingly skeptical view of Muslims in recent days, as his political fortunes have improved. Carson now finds himself among the top contenders in national Republican preference polls. Carson reported raising an impressive $20 million for his campaign in the third quarter of the year.

Carson has also launched a petition challenging the tax exempt status of the largest Muslim advocacy group, part of an escalating rift with the U.S. Muslim community.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations last month called for Carson to quit the presidential race after he said a Muslim should not serve as president. He has since clarified his position, stating he wouldn't support a radical Muslim who did not support the Constitution. He says the same standard should apply to a Supreme Court justice.

Despite anxiousness among some Republicans about the appearance of intolerance in a party trying to reach more minority voters, Carson's team has said his approach works to his advantage in segments of the GOP electorate, especially in Iowa.

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