People gather to observe a minute of silence and mourn for the victims of the bombings at the Place de la Bourse in the center of Brussels, Belgium, on March 24, 2016, two days after a bomb attack, claimed by the Islamic State group. Photo by Albert Masias/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, March 25 (UPI) -- Republican front-runner Donald Trump said he would not rule out the use of nuclear weapons in response to the Brussels terror attacks, saying the United States needs "unpredictability" in how it would use its vast nuclear arsenal.
Trump has engaged in tough rhetoric in the days since the Brussels attack. He renewed his call for temporarily banning all Muslims from entering the country and agreed with a proposal by his GOP rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, that Muslim-heavy neighborhoods should be "secured" by local police and subjected to surveillance measures.
When asked in an interview by Bloomberg on Wednesday whether he would rule out using nuclear weapons in response to threats from the Islamic State, Trump did not say how likely it would be, but he said even if their use had been ruled out, he would never say so.
"I'm never going to rule anything out -- I wouldn't want to say. Even if I wasn't, I wouldn't want to tell you that because at a minimum, I want them to think maybe we would use them.
"We need unpredictability," Trump continued. "We don't know who these people are. The fact is, we need unpredictability and when you ask a question like that, it's a very sad thing to have to answer it because the enemy is watching and I have a very good chance of winning and I frankly don't want the enemy to know how I'm thinking. But with that being said, I don't rule out anything."
Trump also has called on Congress to change U.S. laws to permit the use of torture against suspected terrorists. He said if the Belgians or the French had tortured the suspect in the Paris attacks who was captured three days before the Brussels attacks -- Salah Abdeslam -- it may have prevented the latter from happening.
Trump has also called for revisiting the U.S. role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO. He called NATO "obsolete" -- remarks that drew widespread condemnation from fellow Republicans.