For every person lauding President Donald Trump's efforts to "Make America Great Again," another soul is staring into the depths of despair. The U.S. president certainly has his detractors—but his latest critics are an unlikely bunch: jihadis in Africa.
In a new propaganda video, the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabab referred to Trump as a “brainless billionaire who’s single handedly succeeded in making the United States the greatest joke on Earth.”
Al-Shabab has been battling the Western-backed Somali government for more than a decade. Recent data revealed that the group is one of the deadliest in Africa.
Since coming to office, Trump has taken several steps to intensify U.S. efforts—largely with airstrikes—to eradicate the militant group, which has previously encouraged people to carry out attacks in the West.
The video was released on Sunday and reported by the SITE Intelligence Group. In it, an Al-Shabab spokesman, whose face was obscured, warned the Kenyan public not to follow in the footsteps of the American people.
Kenya is due to hold a general election on August 8. Al-Shabab has launched several major attacks in Kenya—which invaded Somalia in 2011 in a bid to crush the jihadis—and has stepped up its activity with a series of roadside bombings in recent weeks.
“When the Americans voted for Donald Trump last year, they had visions of making America great again. What they underestimated, however, was the man’s level of stupidity, and what they got was arguably the most stupid president a country could ever have,” said the spokesman.
In a new video, al-Shabaab says Americans have underestimated President Trump's "level of stupidity." pic.twitter.com/2LjCWaDIFF— Mukhtar Ibrahim (@mukhtaryare) July 24, 2017
The video then cut to a clip posted by President Trump on Twitter early in July. The video showed footage from a WWE wrestling event in 2007, at which Trump appeared and pummeled an opponent. In the video, the CNN logo was superimposed on the wrestling rival’s head.
Trump tweeted the video with the hashtags #FraudNewsCNN #FNN. It prompted a backlash from press freedom groups, who said Trump was advocating violence against journalists.
The Al-Shabab video then showed footage of Trump pushing the prime minister of Montenegro out of the way to get to the front of a NATO photo opportunity at a Brussels summit in May.
The jihadi spokesman said that Trump was “propelling it [the U.S.] further towards its eventual defeat and destruction.”
“Because for him, comprehending basic tasks or even the consequences of an endless war against Islam and the Muslims, prove to be harder than the measurement of complementary variables in quantum mechanics,” the Al-Shabab spokesman said.
The spokesman added that, after the first six months of Trump’s presidency, Americans were “hopelessly wishing” that they could “turn the clock back” and elect “a more mature and rational candidate.” The spokesman did not indicate whether Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton constituted such a candidate.
Since coming to office, Trump has loosened the rules of engagement for U.S. personnel in Somalia, meaning that airstrikes against Al-Shabab can be executed with less high-level vetting. The president also authorized the deployment of a “few dozen” regular U.S. troops to Somalia to assist in Somali-led missions against the group.
The steps have had mixed results. A U.S. strike killed eight Al-Shabab militants in June, while a joint U.S.-Somali operation reportedly killed a high-ranking Al-Shabab commander, though his death has not been confirmed. But a U.S. Navy SEAL, Kyle Milliken, was also killed in a May operation against Al-Shabab, the first American casualty in the Horn of Africa country since 1993.
The new video is not the first time Al-Shabab has used Trump in its propaganda. In a January 2016 video, the Somali group sampled comments that then presidential candidate Trump made in December 2015, when he called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
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