The second tower of the World Trade Center bursts into flames after being hit by a hijacked airplane in New York on September 11, 2001..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump said that former al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden would have been killed before 9/11 had he been president at the time, according to a report by US political newspaper The Hill.
“I would have been tougher on terrorism,” Trump said Thursday while speaking at a Cleveland charter school. “Bin Laden would have been caught a long time ago before he was ultimately caught, prior to the downing of the World Trade Center.”
Bin Laden was eventually killed on May 2, 2011 raid by American-led forces in Pakistan.
Trump's assertion came two days before the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in which 19 al-Qaida terrorists crashed planes into New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington DC, killing 2,977 people.
On the same day, Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton said that Islamic radicals are praying to Allah for a Trump victory
. She said a judgment has been made, “based on a lot of research, that bringing Islam into the definition of our enemy actually serves the purpose of radical jihadists.”
Citing an article in Time magazine by Matthew Olsen, the former head of the US National Counterterrorism Center, Clinton said “the jihadists see [Trump's attitude toward Muslims] as a great gift. They are saying, ‘Please, Allah, make Trump president of America.’” Clinton’s remarks came in response to a question about whether she would use the term “war on radical Islam.”Herb Keinon contributed to this report.