Trump Blames Terrorists for Killings in Turkey, Germany
(Getty Images) Tuesday, 20 Dec 2016 12:44 PM
President-elect Donald Trump is blaming Islamic terrorists for deadly violence in Turkey and Germany and vowing anew to eradicate their regional and global networks.
Authorities in both countries were still investigating Monday when Trump issued a pair of statements condemning the attacks, the same day the Electoral College formally awarded him the presidency.
Trump called the brazen shooting of Russia's ambassador to Turkey "a violation of all rules of civilized order." He added that a "radical Islamic terrorist" had assassinated the diplomat, Andrei Karlov.
Turkish authorities identified the gunman as Mevlut Mert Altintas, a member of Ankara's riot police squad, and said he was later killed in a shootout with police. Altintas shouted in Turkish about the Syrian city of Aleppo and also yelled "Allahu akbar," Arabic for "God is great."
As for Berlin, where at least 12 people were killed and nearly 50 hurt when a truck plowed through a Christmas market, Trump said the Islamic State group "and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad."
He added that these terrorists and their networks "must be eradicated from the face of the Earth" and pledged to carry out that mission with "all freedom-loving partners."
Berlin police said that a suspect believed to be the driver was arrested after fleeing the scene and that a passenger in the truck was among the dead. German media including Die Welt newspaper reported that the driver was a refugee from Pakistan.
However, on Tuesday, German police think that the man from Pakistan who was arrested as a suspect on Monday was not the actual perpetrator, Die Welt newspaper reported, citing senior security sources.
"We have the wrong man," said a senior police chief. "And therefore a new situation. The true perpetrator is still armed, at large and can cause fresh damage," the paper quoted the source as saying
Trump also tweeted "the civilized world must change thinking:"
"Today there were terror attacks in Turkey, Switzerland and Germany — and it is only getting worse. The civilized world must change thinking!"
In Zurich, police said three people were wounded when a gunman opened fire in the prayer hall of a mosque before killing himself. But Swiss police said they found no indication the suspect had terrorist ties or had been radicalized.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said of the Berlin violence, "we must, as things stand, assume it was a terrorist attack."
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