“The only thing we can be sure of is that refugees across Europe are going to face the very serious consequences of this range of attacks that we’ve seen over the last day,” IPS’ Phyllis Bennis told Democracy Now! in response to the assassination of a Russian ambassador in Turkey, a truck crash into a German Christmas market that killed 12, and a shooting at a mosque in Switzerland on December 19.

Trump responded by sending prayers to those in Berlin and saying “Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad.”

Bennis said Trump’s statement was filled with false claims, since Islamic extremist organizations have not only targeted Christians. “Far more Muslims all around the world have died in these horrific attacks than Christians have,” Bennis said.

Instead of making false claims based in Islamophobia, Bennis said, it’s more important to understand the motivations of those who’ve carried out these acts to learn how to prevent further attacks.

“The militarization of the global war on terror, both in Syria and in Iraq, is taking a huge toll on civilians,” Bennis said. Meanwhile, she notes, ending ISIS control of territory is not going to end the problem of ISIS as a terrorist force.

Terrorism experts, Bennis said, know that as ISIS loses territory, it will just turn back to old-fashioned tactics of carrying out attacks on civilians. “What we’re seeing now is the reality that this global war on terror is indeed having global ramifications,” with the threat being increased around Europe, but most particularly in the Middle East region.

Watch or read the full interview on Democracy Now!’s website.

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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