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GOP congressman on terrorist suspects: 'Kill them all'

Night falls over the U.S. Capitol.
Night falls over the U.S. Capitol.

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) has only been in office for five months, but his reaction to Saturday's terrorist attack in London suggests the far-right lawmaker is poised to have a provocative career.

In the Facebook post, Higgins wrote that "the free world" and "all of Christendom" is at war with "Islamic horror.""Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter," he wrote. "Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identify them, and kill them. Kill them all."

This kind of dangerous and inflammatory language would be alarming from anyone, but the fact that it's coming from an elected federal lawmaker is even more unsettling.

The GOP lawmakers' office later said, "Rep. Higgins is referring to terrorists. He's advocating for hunting down and killing all of the terrorists. This is an idea all of America & Britain should be united behind."

Perhaps, but note that in the original online missive, the congressman specifically referred to "suspects." He also seemed eager to characterize this in explicitly religious terms, arguing that it's "Christendom" that's at war with terrorists.

The rhetoric was not out of character for the Republican. NBC News' report noted that Higgins, in his capacity as a local Louisiana sheriff, appeared in a video last year in which he described several wanted members of a street gang as "animals" and "heathens," adding, "You will be hunted, you will be trapped, and if you raise a weapon to a man like me, we'll return fire with superior fire."

After the video surfaced, Higgins resigned -- which cleared the way for his election to Congress.

Perhaps House GOP leaders should reconsider whether it's wise to have Higgins serve on the House Homeland Security committee?