CRUZ: We're entering 'new phase' in terror war, 'must avoid the trap' of dismissing attacks as 'isolated incidents'
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday renewed calls for increasing restrictions on who can enter the country, saying in a statement that a spate of terror attacks on US soil over the weekend indicated "we are moving into a new phase" in the war with ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Cruz said that a "focused, aggressive military campaign" against ISIS two years ago may have "effectively destroyed the terrorist group," but additional measures must now be taken.
The statement came after a series of weekend acts of terror in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota that injured dozens of people but did not claim any lives. ISIS claimed responsibility for the mass stabbing at a Minnesota shopping mall, but no terror organization has taken credit for the East Coast bombings.
Law enforcement was able to identify and apprehend on Monday a suspect wanted in connection to the weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey.
RELATED: See images of the bombing suspect caught Monday
"As we confront this new phase, we must avoid the trap of misconceiving these attacks as isolated incidents somehow disconnected from the larger ideological struggle against jihad," Cruz said.
The Texas senator added: "It is past time to take off the blinders and call the enemy what it is: radical Islamic terrorism engaged in a coordinated campaign designed to disrupt our very way of life."
Cruz, a former top contender for the Republican presidential nomination, also called on a better working relationship with the Muslim community and for Congress to stop permitting refugees who live in "hotbeds of terrorism" from entering the country.
"We also desperately need the active participation of American Muslims who see the jihadis for what they are: the enemies of all who celebrate freedom and tolerance," he said. "Congress should act to prevent Americans who have travelled abroad for training from returning here, and to stop the flow of refugees from hotbeds of terrorism in the Middle East that President Obama is determined to bring to our country."
Cruz concluded: "We can't overcome our enemies by pretending they don't exist, and undermining our first line of defenders. Only together, clear-eyed and determined, can we defeat this foe."
RELATED: Most active terrorist groups in United States since 2000
- 'We will once again choose resolve over fear': Hillary Clinton responds to terrorist attacks
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio grilled on why he won't call Manhattan bombing an act of terror
- THE CONSPIRACY CANDIDATE? 13 outlandish theories Donald Trump has floated on the campaign trail