Donald Trump
Donald Trump supports waterboarding a way to get information from terroristsSteve Nesius/ Reuters

In the wake of the Brussels terror attacks divisive Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has called for waterboarding and "a lot more" to gain information from terrorists. On 22 March Brussels was rocked by a triple suicide bombing atits international airport and a metro station leaving at least 34 people dead and dozens wounded.

But from across the Atlantic, bombastic billionaire Donald Trump was again re-affirming his belief that torture, and in particular waterboarding, should be used for interrogation in the US army.

Trump has endorsed using torture on suspected terrorists before, telling a forum in Detroit that he would order "a hell of a lot worse" than waterboarding. But the presidential-hopeful then made a swift U-turn saying, "the United States is bound by laws and treaties and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advice on such matters."

But now it seems like the flamboyant reality TV star has changed his mind yet again as national security is set to become a hot topic in the presidential debates over the coming months. He said in an interview on NBC's Today program that authorities "should be able to do whatever they have to do" in order to gain information to stop potential attacks.

"Waterboarding would be fine. If they can expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding," Trump said. "You have to get the information from these people."

The Islamic State (Isis) claimed responsibility for the Brussels attacks within hours of the bombings. And Trump believes tactics such as waterboarding, banned by President Barack Obama days after he took office in 2009, could prevent further attacks.

"I am in the camp where you have to get the information, and you have to get it rapidly," said Trump. He added that liberal laws in Europe prevent successful counter-terrorism operations. The reliability of torture to obtain information has also been fiercely contested.

Trump has in the past called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US and today Republican rival Texas Senator Ted Cruz renewed calls for more punitive measures against Muslims. Cruz said Obama's plan to admit thousands of Syrian refugees should also be stopped.

Cruz also called for increased police scrutiny of neighbourhoods with large Muslim populations. "We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalised," he said.