Sunday, January 03, 2016

Somali extremists use Donald Trump clip to recruit followers

It would be surprising if this weren't happening.

Associated Press writer Kevin Freking in Honolulu, Tom Odula in Nairobi, Kenya, Paul Schemm in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Tom Strong in Washington, D.C. contributed to this report.

Jan. 2, 2016

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Al-Qaida's East African affiliate has released a recruitment video targeting American blacks and Muslims that includes a clip of presidential candidate Donald Trump calling for Muslims to be banned from entering the United States.

The 51-minute video by the Somalia based al-Shabab militant group presents the U.S. as a country of institutionalized racism against blacks that also persecutes Muslims. The video presents radical Islam as the solution.

The clip of Trump on the campaign trail consists of his infamous proposal for the "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" to protect the country.


The quotes from Trump are bracketed by a recorded speech from Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, one of the most prominent English-language recruiters for al-Qaida who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011, warning that the U.S. would turn against its Muslims.


Using footage from recent racial conflicts in the U.S. as well as historic quotes from Malcolm X, the video lays out the argument that blacks and Muslims will always face discrimination in the U.S. and should join jihadi movements to fight back.

Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration, said he won't comment on any particular presidential candidate's remarks, but the administration has long warned that terrorist organizations will take advantage of any notion that the U.S. is at war with Islam.

Rhodes said he would hope that American send a message that rejects the notion that the U.S. and Islam are at war, and instead emphasize the contributions of Muslim-Americans.

"We're at war with terrorists. We're not at war with Islam," Rhodes said. "The terrorists want us to act like we're at war with Islam. That's how they recruit people. That's how they stir up grievances. To defeat terrorists, we need to kill terrorists on the battlefield, but we also need to defeat this narrative that allows them to recruit people."

Al-Shabab is fighting the internationally-backed Somali government. It was pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011 with the help of African Union troops.


Last month, The Washington Post reported that white nationalists have begun using Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as a recruitment tool

Now, the polarizing Republican presidential front-runner has become the recruitment fodder for another group of marginalized extremists.

A propaganda video released by the Somali-based al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabab includes a clip of Trump calling on the United States to bar Muslims from entering the country, according to news reports. Trump made the statement following the Islamic State-inspired shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., last month.

The video was produced to look similar to a documentary and calls upon African Americans to join a holy war against the United States, according to the BBC.

Claiming the United States is a hotbed of racial inequality, police brutality and anti-Muslim sentiment, the film is an indictment of U.S. race relations


“Yesterday, America was a land of slavery, segregation, lynching and Ku Klux Klan, and tomorrow, it will be a land of religious discrimination and concentration camps,” Awlaki can be heard saying in recorded footage.

He adds: “The West will eventually turn against its Muslim citizens.”


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