WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, reacted to news that the man suspected of killing 50 people in an Orlando nightclub early Sunday morning was an American citizen born in New York and, reportedly, radicalized here at home.
“The tragic events in Orlando underscore that one of the greatest threats we continue to face is homegrown terrorism. I am deeply concerned that the man who carried out this unspeakable violence early this morning is an American citizen who has been radicalized here at home. Since September 11th, every person who has been killed by jihadi terrorists in this country has been killed by an American citizen or legal resident. Now, this mass shooting, the deadliest in our country’s history, highlights exactly why efforts to counter the influence of ISIS’ abhorrent and twisted message are just as critical as degrading these extremists overseas on the battlefield. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, their message of hate does not need a visa or a plane ticket to reach our shores, but we can still win this war of words and ideas. We must stay vigilant in our work to reach out to communities across the country and work with local officials, faith leaders and family members to combat terrorist groups’ efforts to radicalize and recruit our own citizens here on American soil. This country has always stood as a shining example of the fact that acceptance ultimately prevails over hate. We must continue to be a haven for those that share those ideals and redouble our efforts to reach those among us who are vulnerable to the hateful ideology espoused by extremist groups who seek to hurt and divide us.”