A terrorism expert explains why Donald Trump's reaction to Brussels is so dangerous

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Wednesday 23 March 2016 14:40
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Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Donald Trump's knee-jerk reaction to the attack on Brussels airport on Tuesday was to call for the closing of the borders.

The Republican frontrunner followed this up by once more advocating the use of torture in a telephone interview with Today.

Trump was informed of the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, one of the planners of the Paris bomb attacks on 13 November, and asked what he would do to the perpetrator.

Well I would say they should be able to do whatever they have to do... whatever they have to do.

News anchor Savannah Guthrie asked him to be more specific, to which he replied:

Frankly the waterboarding is - if it was up to me - if we change the laws, or have the laws, waterboarding would be fine.

…and if they wanted to [inaudible]..because you know we work within laws, they don’t work within laws, they have no laws, we work within laws, uh the waterboarding would be fine and if they could expand the laws I would do a lot more than waterboarding.

This isn't the first time Trump has expressed his support for torture.

In a debate with Republican candidate Ted Cruz, in February he said:

...in the Middle East we have people chopping the heads off Christians... I would bring back waterboarding and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images, an art installation of waterboarding

Despite America's very own secret service, the CIA, stating that torture is ineffective in getting accurate, usable information, Trump, it seems, knows best.

Guthrie went on to say that a number of sources argue that torture does not work.

His response?

I don't believe the other people.

Subsequently, CBS asked Terrorism expert Malcome Nance what he thought about Trump's reaction and what that meant for Isis:

Good God, they're probably cutting videos of this right now.

Donald Trump right now is validating the cartoonish view that they tell their operatives and terrorists that the United States is a racist nation, xenophobic, anti-muslim and that’s why you must carry out terrorist attacks against them in defence of their version of islam.

This is detrimental to the counter-terrorism and anti-terrorism missions around the world.

It is irresponsible and it needs to stop, this is not helping us at all.

He also went on to say:

Isis is an existential threat to Islam… [and] these strategic punches that they’re throwing at Europe and may throw at the United States in the future is being strengthened by some of the rhetoric that’s coming from the US politicians.

In short: Trump is turning himself into a useful propaganda tool for extremists.

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