Trump blames ter­ror­ists for killings

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Palm Beach, Florida

With­out back­ing up his claim, US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump is blam­ing Is­lamic terrorism for deadly vi­o­lence in Turkey and Ger­many and vow­ing anew to erad­i­cate their re­gional and global net­works.

Author­i­ties in both coun­tries were still in­ves­ti­gat­ing when Trump is­sued a pair of state­ments con­demn­ing the in­ci­dents on Mon­day. The White House had al­ready de­scribed the episode in cen­tral Ber­lin, in which a truck rammed into shop­pers at a Christ­mas mar­ket, as an ap­par­ent ter­ror­ist at­tack.

Trump called the brazen shoot­ing of Rus­sia’s am­bas­sador to Turkey as he at­tended a photo ex­hibit “a vi­o­la­tion of all rules of civ­i­lized or­der”. He added that a “rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ist” had as­sas­si­nated the diplo­mat, An­drei Karlov.

In Ber­lin, where at least 12 peo­ple were killed, 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 re­gional and world­wide net­works “must be erad­i­cated from the face of the earth” and pledged to carry out that mis­sion with “all free­dom-lov­ing part­ners.”

Trump’s tran­si­tion team did not re­spond to re­quests to cite the sources for his claims of ter­ror­ist in­volve­ment.

He later tweeted: “To­day there were ter­ror at­tacks in Turkey, Switzer­land and Ger­many and it is only get­ting worse. The civ­i­lized world must change think­ing!”

Zurich shoot­ing

In Zurich, po­lice said three peo­ple were wounded when a gun­man opened fire in the prayer hall of a mosque fre­quented by So­mali im­mi­grants.

Trump vowed dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign to go af­ter the Is­lamic State group, but re­peat­edly de­clined to fill in the pub­lic on his plan.

His state­ments came at the end of a day in which he was for­mally elected pres­i­dent by the Elec­toral Col­lege, clear­ing the way for his Jan 20 in­au­gu­ra­tion. Trump also an­nounced his can­di­date for sec­re­tary of the Army on Mon­day and held a round of tran­si­tion meet­ings.

He was ex­pected to hold ad­di­tional tran­si­tion meet­ings at his Palm Beach, Florida, es­tate on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day.

His choice of Army veteran and fel­low New Yorker Vin­cent Vi­ola to be Army sec­re­tary will put an­other bil­lion­aire in a lead­ing role in the new ad­min­is­tra­tion. Vi­ola is a West Point grad­u­ate who joins a list of in­di­vid­u­als with mil­i­tary back­grounds al­ready bound for the Cabi­net. Trump’s picks for de­fense sec­re­tary, home­land se­cu­rity sec­re­tary, na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser and deputy na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser are re­tired mil­i­tary.

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