Ji­hadists say Trump’s vic­tory a ral­ly­ing call for new re­cruits IS com­man­der calls Trump a ‘ma­niac’

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

From Afghanistan to Al­ge­ria, ji­hadists plan to use Don­ald Trump’s shock US pres­i­den­tial vic­tory as a pro­pa­ganda tool to bring new fight­ers to their bat­tle­fields. Tale­ban com­man­ders and Is­lamic State 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 IS com­man­der in Afghanistan said.

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 IS, the Tale­ban 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 AlSadr said in a state­ment. Sadr’s po­lit­i­cal re­form move­ment, which com­mands thou­sands of fol­low­ers, is a staunch op­po­nent of the rad­i­cal Sunni move­ments IS and AlQaeda, 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 IS 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 IS 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 IS’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 Sept 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 Sunni ji­hadist move­ments. “Al-Qaeda is known for its re­cruit­ment strat­egy that heav­ily quotes speeches of the White House and other Western of­fi­cials,” he told Reuters.

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 Is­lamic State 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 Tale­ban 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 ji­hadi or­ga­ni­za­tions can ex­ploit it,” said the mil­i­tant leader, who de­clined to be iden­ti­fied be­cause of strict Tale­ban pol­icy that only its of­fi­cial spokesman can make state­ments.

Shortly af­ter Trump’s vic­tory, sev­eral ji­hadist sym­pa­thiz­ers 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 Is­lamic State. And in Al­ge­ria, @salil_­chohada, an Is­lamic State 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.”— Reuters

MO­SUL: A front line drone op­er­a­tor from the Iraqi Spe­cial Forces 2nd divi­sion takes cover be­hind a rooftop wall as he eyes his air­craft while smoke bil­lows from an Is­lamic State (IS) group po­si­tion that was hit dur­ing fight­ing in Mo­sul’s Karkukli neigh­bor­hood yes­ter­day. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.