Somali group uses Trump to recruit jihadists?

Al-Shabaab reportedly uses an excerpt from Trump's comments against Muslims in a recruitment video.

Ben Ariel ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States was used by the Somali Al-Shabaab terrorist group in a jihadist recruitment video, a U.S. monitoring group said Saturday, according to AFP.

The SITE Intelligence Group said that the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab used an excerpt from Trump's December 7 speech to try and woo Muslims in the West to wage jihad.

Trump recently caused an uproar both at home and abroad when he called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country in the wake of the massacre in San Bernardino.

The comments were widely condemned, with White House press secretary Josh Earnest saying the proposal was "disqualifying", and Secretary of State John Kerry claiming the comments “endanger national security”.

According to AFP, in the Al-Shabaab video, the Trump soundbite is preceded by a speech by the late Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born radical imam, calling on Muslims in America to "flee the oppressive Western atmosphere for the lands of Islam".

Al-Awlaki, who Washington alleges was a senior Al-Qaeda operative, was killed in an American drone strike in Yemen in September 2011.

The video, which lasts more than 50 minutes, specifically targets black youths, urging them to convert to Islam and leave for the Somali battlefield using footage of Malcolm X, protests against police actions, and speeches of white supremacists, SITE said, according to AFP.

It portrays America as a country hostile to its Muslim population, with the narrator claiming that "in the United States, basic human rights and concepts such as justice, tolerance, and the rule of law do not apply if you are a Muslim".

Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton recently warned following the controversial comments that his words were playing into the hands of extremist groups.

During a Democratic debate last month, Clinton accused Trump of being "ISIS's best recruiter," referring to the Islamic State group, and said the radical jihadists were "going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists."

Trump later hit back, accusing Clinton of lying, though the former Secretary of State’s spokeswoman insisted that his remarks were "being used in social media by ISIS as propaganda... to help recruiting," sourcing the information to groups that monitor IS's online activities.

At the time, U.S. media outlets were unable to find any footage evidence to back up Clinton's initial claim.

The Al-Shabaab video was reportedly uploaded onto Twitter by the Al-Kataib Media Foundation, a regular conduit for the group's propaganda material.