A new video released by what appears to be a propaganda wing of the Islamic State cites remarks made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in the aftermath of this week's deadly terror attacks in Brussels.
The video, titled "The Exile of Islam and Brussels Attacks" and produced by the al-Battar media group, is a nine-minute montage of spliced footage and commentary about the terrorist bombings in the Belgian capital, which killed 31 people and injured hundreds more.
"The crusade jets including the Belgian [sic] are still bombing the Muslims in Iraq and Levant in the day and the night, killing children, women, old, and destroying mosques and schools," an Arabic speaker says, according to Newsweek. (Belgium is a member of the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition, though its military role is rather circumscribed.)
The video then incorporates the audio recording of comments made by Trump in a phone interview after news of the carnage broke, likely as propaganda to prove the success of the jihadists' plots.
"Brussels was one of the great cities – one of the most beautiful cities of the world 20 years ago – and safe," Trump intones. "And now it's a horror show - an absolute horror show."
After the attacks, the Republican front-runner called for closing borders and encouraged the use of torture when pursuing militant groups. Critics argued that both his and rival candidate Sen. Ted Cruz's proposals – Cruz said law enforcement should "patrol and secure" Muslim neighborhoods – were heavy-handed, likely illegal and could potentially deepen radicalization.
The Islamic State specifically wants the West to react with panic and alarm. A memo circulated by the group's supporters in November appeared to exult at Europe's fraying unity in the face of various political and economic crises.
An escalation of Islamist militancy, as well as growing fears over an influx of refugees and migrants, have presented a perfect cocktail for right-wing parties across the continent skeptical of both immigration and European unity. Their opponents call for calm and point to the profound complexity of the militant threat.
"There's no magical recipe and no easy solution, two things we're used to having in our impatient, consumer-driven societies," warned Jerome Fenoglio, the editorial director of Le Monde, a leading French daily. He went on to attack what he said were demagogues on both sides of the pond, including France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen:
"They're playing with the victims' pain. To say that we only need to flatten ISIS-controlled cities in Syria and Iraq with bombs is absurd, as this would instead create more wannabe jihadists. To say, as Marine Le Pen's National Front does, that we only need to close borders inside the E.U. to put an end to European jihadism, is a simplistic hoax. Weapons and explosives have been proliferating in our countries for a long time, while user manuals circulate on the Internet. We don't need any seller of illusions in this ongoing fight."