Donald Trump Jr. Scolded for Blaming 'Political Correctness' for London Terrorism: 'Your Dad's Policies Released a Prison Full of ISIS Fighters'

As the U.K. reacts to last week's terrorist attack in London, British politicians have come under fire for politicizing the tragedy and shifting blame to their rivals in the run up to the country's general election on December 12.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who leads the right-wing Conservative Party, has—despite pleas from the family of one of the two people killed in the knife attack near London Bridge—blamed his Labour Party opponents for the killings, citing legislation introduced by a previous government more than 10 years ago.

And in the U.S., right-wing political figures have now also been condemned for using the London Bridge stabbings as ammunition to attack more progressive politics.

Donald Trump Jr., for example, tweeted that Friday's incident was "such a shame" and that two lives were "needlessly lost."

He blamed "brilliant leaders" who "decided to release a convicted terrorist 'with links to Islamic extremist groups' back into civil society" for the deaths, and claimed that "political correctness will destroy western civilization."

His tweet was met with criticism from Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress research and advocacy organization. "Your dad's policies released a prison full of ISIS fighters," Tanden wrote. "You may want to sit out a critique."

Tanden was apparently referring to the recent turmoil in Syria, where the president's strategy facilitated a new Turkish military campaign that threw Kurdish-held areas in the northeast of the country into chaos and allowed dozens of Islamic State fighters to escape detention.

"Operation Peace Spring," as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan termed the incursion, was launched to clear Syrian Democratic Forces fighters from a buffer zone along the Turkish-Syrian border.

The SDF is led by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). Turkey considers the YPG an extension of the Kurdish Workers' Party, which has been fighting an intermittent guerilla war in Turkey since the 1980s and is a proscribed terrorist organization in the U.S. and the European Union.

The U.S.-allied SDF bore the brunt of the Western-backed campaign against ISIS, taking some 12,000 casualties in the process. U.S. troops had been deployed alongside the SDF in northern Syria, but were abruptly ordered out of the area by Trump shortly before the Turkish operation began.

At that time, the SDF was holding more than 10,000 ISIS prisoners including foreign fighters. The SDF was also overseeing large displaced persons camps, populated by civilians who had been living in ISIS territory before it was captured.

The Turkish assault stretched SDF capacity, already creaking under the weight of tens of thousands of detainees and refugees. Amid the ensuing fighting, dozens of ISIS fighters were able to escape custody.

U.S. special representative for Syria James Franklin Jeffrey confirmed in October that an unknown number of militants had escaped. He told senators that the U.S. had no idea as to how the escaped ISIS fighters would be tracked, accounted for and/or recaptured.

Donald Trump Jr, London, attack, terrorism, Syria
Donald Trump Jr., poses during a signing event for his new book at Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue on November 5, 2019 in New York. ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images/Getty
Donald Trump Jr. Scolded for Blaming 'Political Correctness' for London Terrorism: 'Your Dad's Policies Released a Prison Full of ISIS Fighters' | Politics