You are here

Extremists say Trump victory a rallying call for new recruits

Trump at one point called for ban on all Muslims entering US

By Reuters - Nov 14,2016 - Last updated at Nov 14,2016

A soldier from the Iraqi Special Forces' 2nd division reassures members of a family who took shelter inside a building held by troops during fighting against the Daesh terror group militants in the Arbagiah neighbourhood of Mosul, on Saturday (AFP photo)

 

KABUL/CAIRO — From Afghanistan to Algeria, extremists plan to use Donald Trump's shock US presidential victory as a propaganda tool to bring new fighters to their battlefields.

Taliban commanders and the Daesh terror group supporters say Trump's campaign trail rhetoric against Muslims — at one point calling for a total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States — will play perfectly in their recruitment efforts, especially for disaffected youth in the West.

"This guy is a complete maniac. His utter hate towards Muslims will make our job much easier because we can recruit thousands," Abu Omar Khorasani, a top Daesh commander in Afghanistan, told Reuters.

Trump has talked tough against militant groups on the campaign trail, promising to defeat "radical Islamic terrorism just as we won the Cold War".

The president-elect later toned down his call for a total ban on Muslim entry to say he would temporarily suspend immigration from countries that have "a history of exporting terrorism".

But he has offered few details on his plans to combat various radical groups, including Daesh, the Taliban and Al Qaeda, which represent a wide spectrum of political views.

"He does not differentiate between extremist and moderate Islamist trends and, at the same time, he overlooks [the fact] that his extremism will generate extremism in return," Iraq's powerful Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada Al Sadr said in a statement.

Sadr's political reform movement, which commands thousands of followers, is a staunch opponent of the radical movements Daesh and Al Qaeda, and unlike them has not waged or promoted attacks in the West.

The United States has seen a handful of attacks inspired by Islamist militant groups, including the June massacre of 49 people at an Orlando nightclub by a gunman who called a TV station swearing allegiance to Daesh and the killing of 14 people at a San Bernadino, California, social services agency last December.

US officials have warned the country will likely face a higher risk of similar attacks as Daesh urges supporters to launch attacks at home instead of joining its fight in the Middle East.

"Our leaders were closely following the US election but it was unexpected that the Americans will dig their own graves and they did so," said Daesh’s Khorasani, who described President Barack Obama as a moderate infidel with at least a little brain in comparison to Trump.

Al Qaeda, which has proven resilient more than 15 years after launching the September 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, has yet to comment on Trump's victory.

The militant group will likely respond after Trump's first speeches as president, anticipating they will be able to exploit his comments to win support, said Hisham Al Hashemi, who advises the Iraqi government on extremist movements.

"Al Qaeda is known for its recruitment strategy that heavily quotes speeches of the White House and other Western officials," he told Reuters.

 

Propaganda machine

 

Trump's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the statements from the militants.

Even if Trump tones down his anti-Muslim comments when he takes office in January, analysts say his statements during the campaign trail were enough to fuel the militants' propaganda machine.

"Militants will still use those quotes," said Matthew Henman, head of IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre.

"The key thing militant groups, particularly Daesh and Al Qaeda, depend on for recruitment purposes is convincing Muslims in the Western world that the West hates them and won't ever accept them as part of their society."

 A senior Taliban commander in Afghanistan said the group, whose resurgence is undermining efforts to end America's longest war, had kept track of all of Trump's speeches and anti-Muslim comments.

"If he does what he warned in his election campaign, I am sure it will provoke Muslim Ummah [community] across the world and radical organisations can exploit it," said the militant leader, who declined to be identified because of strict Taliban policy that only its official spokesman can make statements.

Shortly after Trump's victory, several extremist sympathisers took to social media to declare this as an opportunity for their cause.

"The dog Trump's victory in the US elections is a gold mine for Muslims not a setback if they know how to use it," tweeted @alhlm200, who regularly posts statements in support of Daesh.

 

And in Algeria, @salil_chohada, a Daesh supporter whose name on the Twitter account is Mohamed Aljazairie, said: "Congratulations to the Muslim nation over the infidel Trump's victory. His stupid statements alone serve us."

up
66 users have voted.

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
1 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Newsletter

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.