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US presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to reintroduce waterboarding

US presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to reintroduce the controversial interrogation method of waterboarding, which rights advocates consider to be torture. Earlier, he called for a nationwide registry of Muslims.

Donald Trump has once again ignited controversy after he spoke to ABC News on Sunday, advocating the use of simulated drowning, a technique also known as waterboarding, in the interrogation of terror suspects.

The CIA is known to have used waterboarding with at least three people arrested in connection with the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the US. However, the practice was banned by President Barack Obama when he came to power in 2009.

"I would bring it back," the

Republican presidential candidate

said. "I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they'd do to us, what they're doing to us, what they did to James Foley when they chopped off his head.

"That's a whole different level and I would absolutely bring back interrogation and strong interrogation," he added.

Controversial comments

Earlier this week, Trump stirred a storm a criticism for demanding a nationwide registry of Muslims. Although he didn't exactly go back on his words in Sunday's interview, Trump said he wanted a database of

Syrian refugees entering the country

to guard against "the great Trojan horse of all time."#

He also said he wasn't interested in closing mosques, clarifying: "I don't want to close mosques; I want to surveil mosques."

Trump's controversial comments have not reduced his popularity among voters. The latest "Washington Post"/ABC News polls showed him leading his Republican competitors with 32 percent support, followed by neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

According to the survey, 47 percent of Republicans thought the real estate tycoon was the most capable of handling the country's economy, the threat of terrorism and immigration.

mg/cmk (AFP, dpa)

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