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Faso Comes Out In Favor Of Racial Profiling To Combat Terrorism

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Republican candidate for governor John Faso said Tuesday he supports the profiling of likely terrorists, saying the country's security should rely on common sense. But as NY1’s Molly Kroon reports, critics say he's taking advantage of voter insecurity to get elected.

While not saying he supports racial profiling, Republican candidate for governor John Faso said political correctness shouldn't stand in the way of America's security.

"Last time I checked we did not have a report of a grandmother from Bayside terrorizing our citizens. But if a 25-year-old Muslim man who has been traveling frequently to Yemen or Pakistan tries to board a plane, then not only statistical analysis but also common sense tells us that he is more of a potential threat than the grandmother from Queens," said Faso.

In light of last week's terrorism threat, Faso said law enforcement officials should be able to question a Muslim man without fear of being slapped by an ACLU lawsuit.

“Looking for Muslims for participation in Muslim jihad is not playing the odds. It is following an ironclad tautology," said the GOP candidate.

Faso also questioned the effectiveness of random bag searches, like the ones conducted by the NYPD in the city's subways.

“This notion that of 1 out of 10 or 1 out of 7 you pick, whether or not they have the characteristics for likelihood to commit these kinds of crimes, is rather foolhardy and a waste of resources," said Faso.

The comments were made during a speech Tuesday on Faso's agenda for homeland security, where he said he would "beat the drum" in favor of federal efforts to monitor suspicious phone calls and bank transactions between people in the U.S. and countries that are known to harbor terrorists.

But while Faso says his comments are just common sense, others are calling them dangerously prejudicial, especially coming from a candidate for governor.

“We definitely feel that he's taking advantage of the atmosphere that Muslims are in right now in light of recent events for his own political gain," said Faiza Ali of CAIR.

And while Democratic candidate for governor Eliot Spitzer has also supported giving law enforcement more freedom to wiretap and track bank transactions of suspected terrorists, he questioned Faso's position on profiling.

"Profiling is something that is not only wrong and frowned upon, but doesn't work," said Spitzer.

But Faso is clearly hoping it will work on voters come November.

- Molly Kroon ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP