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Legislator says Tennessee Guard should be used to round up "Islamists"


FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A leading Republican legislator is suggesting that the Tennessee National Guard be used to remove from the state what he refers to as “Islamists.”

House GOP Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of Franklin tells WMOT he believes the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security should be charged with “monitoring” any “refugees from Islamic countries” who are “Islamists.”

“Some of those are trained terrorists. For the protection and the safety of Tennessee citizens we need to give those individuals back to the federal government. We do not need ISIS trained, Hamas trained, Al-Qaida trained terrorists in the State of Tennessee.”

Casada’s comments come a day after Gov. Bill Haslam joined more than half of the nation’s governors in calling for a halt in the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S.

Hedy Weinberg with the Tennessee chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says she favors a strong military and law enforcement response to the threat posed by the so-called Islamic State, but also says Haslam and state lawmakers are trampling on cherished American values.

“Recognizing that our country embraces those fleeing other countries because of the terror they face, and also recognize that we support civil liberties and not allow those liberties to be eroded.”

The Tennessee Department of Homeland tells WMOT that it is “…not aware of any credible threats in Tennessee at this time.” The department says it is partnering with federal, state and local law enforcement to monitor any potential threats.