US President-elect Donald Trump characterized the gruesome truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin as part of a systematic campaign by Muslim extremists against Christians.
Trump’s late-Monday statement noted that the 12 people killed and 50 wounded were “innocent civilians.”
“ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad,” Trump said. “These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners.”
German officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel and top prosecutor Peter Frank, have highlighted the symbolism of striking a Christmas market outside a church less than a week before the holiday.
Trump and his national security adviser-designate, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, have railed at Islamic terrorists.
“I think Islam hates us,” Trump declared in a CNN interview in March. (He later clarified that he meant “many” Muslims abhor the United States).
Flynn has gone further, calling Islam “a malignant cancer” in one speech and Islamism — the militancy that demands government and society reflect Islamic law — “a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people.”
“We are facing another ‘ism,’ just like we faced Nazism, and fascism, and imperialism and communism,” Flynn said.