Trump’s Response to Orlando Is Exactly What ISIS Wants

Donald Trump says the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida—perpetrated early Sunday morning by an Afghan American who’d pledged allegiance to ISIS—vindicates Trump’s hard line against ISIS and terrorism.

In a tweet posted Sunday afternoon, Trump gloated that he had been proved “right on radical Islamic terrorism.” A few hours later, he repeated his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. In a statement Sunday evening, Trump argued that 99 percent of Afghans were radical Islamists, that Middle Eastern migrants should be kept out of the United States, and that anyone who refused to “say the words ‘Radical Islam’ ” in the hours after the Orlando massacre should be disqualified from the presidency.

trump and isis

Trump is a fool. Analysts who see this atrocity as an act of radical Islamic terrorism—and who understand radicalism, Islam, and terrorism far better than Trump does—suspect it was inspired by a message from ISIS, issued three weeks ago. This elaborate statement, delivered by ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, urged ISIS sympathizers to attack civilians in Europe and the United States during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It also clarified the group’s propaganda and recruitment strategy. Trump’s platform of banning Muslims, blocking migrants, and ruthlessly bombing ISIS-held territory fits this strategy perfectly. He’s an ISIS stooge.

The statement from ISIS, released on May 21, exhorts Muslims to “terrorize” non-Muslims everywhere and to make Ramadan “a month of suffering.” But this plea comes from a position of weakness. The statement says “the whole world has allied and rushed against us,” launching “20,000 airstrikes” and killing several top ISIS leaders. It pledges, defiantly and expectantly, that ISIS won’t quit no matter how much territory it loses.