“We really have to look at profiling,” he said in an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation TV show. “We have to look at it seriously. And other countries do it. And it's not the worst thing to do. I hate the concept of profiling but we have to use common sense.”

Trump has repeatedly targeted Muslims in his bid to become president, calling for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. in the wake of the San Bernadino shootings last December that killed 14. He repeated his call following Omar Mateen’s attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12 in which 50 people died, including Mateen.

Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, described profiling as counterproductive. “That’s also a view of mainstream national security officials as well,” he said.

He added that targeting individuals based on their faith, ethnicity or national origin was “illegal and unconstitutional”.

In an interview on broadcaster CNN’s State of the Union program, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said law enforcement should retain close contacts with Muslims.

“It is very important for to us maintain our contacts within the Muslim community because often individuals, if they're from that community and they’re being radicalized, their friends and family members will see it first,” she said. “They will see activity first. And we want that information to come to us.”

Anadolu Agency