Sebastian Gorka, a controversial White House national security aide, suggested in an interview published Friday that mosques aren't necessarily spaces that are protected from government surveillance.
The Telegraph noted that President Donald Trump has proposed surveilling Muslim communities and mosques in the US and asked Gorka, who is a deputy assistant to the president, about a possible Muslim registry that Trump previously said he wouldn't rule out.
"The Muslim registry, no, that's hyperbole," Gorka told The Telegraph. "With regards to the other approaches: I'm sorry, just because you go into a mosque does not mean you're safe from the national security practitioners of America."
Mosque surveillance wouldn't be new in the US. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the New York Police Department established methods of surveilling the city's Muslim communities and mosques. The city settled multiple lawsuits relating to the police department's surveillance of Muslims.
Critics have called Gorka an Islamaphobe, but he insists that he just wants to be honest about threats to US national security. He insists on using the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism," from which the Obama administration shied away.
"Look, our struggle, our war — I'm going to use the word war — is with what I call the global jihadi movement," Gorka said. "It's rooted in the politicized version of Islam."
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