Militant recruitment video features Trump

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump works the crowd after a rally at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa in South Carolina, US on Dec 30, 2015.
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump works the crowd after a rally at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa in South Carolina, US on Dec 30, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Al-Qaeda's branch in Somalia has released a recruitment video that criticises racism and anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States and contains footage of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announcing his proposal to bar Muslims from entering the country.

The video, released by the militant group al-Shabab, appeared to be the first time Mr Trump was featured in recruitment material by militants. During a Democratic presidential debate last month, Mrs Hillary Clinton said Mr Trump had been used in a recruitment video for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a claim that was later debunked.

Al-Qaeda and ISIS are rival terrorist groups that compete for recruits and money among radicalised Muslims. Representatives for the Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.

The video was part of a series dedicated to Somali-American militants from Minnesota and one Canadian who died on the battlefield in Somalia. The video was authenticated by the SITE Intelligence Group, which studies militant propaganda, and it appeared to be aimed at the African-American community.

Citing "historical injustices" against African-Americans, including police brutality and racial profiling, the video urged them to convert to Islam and engage in attacks at home or abroad.

In addition to footage of Mr Trump, the 51-minute video included excerpts from speeches by Malcolm X and unnamed white supremacists. It also has footage of white police officers, African-Americans protesting against police brutality and African-American men in prison. Some appeared to be performing Islamic prayers.

Using footage of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American member of an Al-Qaeda affiliate who was killed in a US drone attack in 2011, the video said the US was gripped by a "malignant hatred" of Islam.

"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," al-Awlaki said in the footage.

The video includes footage of Mr Trump with his campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again".

Al-Awlaki said in the video: "The West will eventually turn against its Muslim citizens."

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 03, 2016, with the headline 'Militant recruitment video features Trump'. Print Edition | Subscribe