Monday December 19, 2016 saw three unrelated tragedies. Then there was a fourth.
In Ankara, an off-duty Turkish policeman shot and killed Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, who was making a speech at an art gallery. The perpetrator was heard to shout “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) and “Don’t forget about Syria, don’t forget about Aleppo. All those who participate in this tyranny will be held accountable.” The killer died in a shoot-out shortly afterwards. The assassination of the Russian Ambassador is unforgivable. So too are the war-crimes that Russia is perpetrating in Aleppo.
In Berlin, a truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market, killing 12 and injuring 49 more. The suspect, Anis Amri (24), was reportedly monitored previously on suspicion of planning a robbery in order to pay for guns but surveillance was lifted for lack of evidence. Before entering Germany, he had served four years for arson in Italy. He is still at large.
In Zurich, a 24 year old Swiss man opened fire on the congregation at a Somali-Islamic centre close to Zurich station. His body was found a soon afterwards, a short distance away from the centre. At the time, the man was being sought for a murder perpetrated the previous evening.
Donald Trump’s reaction to these events was to tweet “Today there were terror attacks in Turkey, Switzerland and Germany – and it is only getting worse. The civilized world must change thinking!”.
Trump’s team released a statement expressing condolences to Karlov’s family, also saying “radical Islamic terrorist” violated “all rules of civilized order.”
In a later statement, referring to the Berlin massacre, Trump released a statement saying “ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad.” Of the three attacks, only one was on a place of worship, and there the victims were Muslim.
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