While Hillary Clinton’s claim that Trump was “ISIS’s best recruiter” may not have been totally verifiable a few weeks ago, she didn’t have to wait long for that to change. A newly released video from Al Shabab—Somalia’s resident Al Qaeda affiliate—uses footage of Trump spouting deeply Islamophobic rhetoric as a direct recruitment tool for its terrorist organization.
[There was a video here]
In the video, old clips of Anwar al Awlaki, who was killed by an American drone in 2011, warns “Muslims of the West” that the U.S. is about to become a land of “religious discrimination and concentration camps.” The video then cuts to a clip of what’s become a typical Donald Trump stump speech, in which he says:
Now, listen. Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.
Trump’s fervent supporters in the crowd, of course, go wild. The video then cuts back to al Awlaki, who offers a warning that “the West will eventually turn against its Muslim citizens.”
The new Shabab video featuring @realDonaldTrump appears clear evidence jihadists hope to use him to specifically solicit American recruits.— Evan Kohlmann (@IntelTweet) January 1, 2016
This comes after Trump’s camp slammed Clinton for claiming in the last Democratic debate that Trump was “becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.” Trump responded by calling Clinton a liar, which forced the Clinton campaign to walk the statements back a bit by claiming that she’d actually just been referring to Trump’s use on social media in general—and not, as had been implied, in any specific video.
Though Trump went so far as to call Clinton “crooked,” Clinton refused to apologize for her remarks—and now with this latest development, it would seem rightly so. Because Trump crossed over from innocuous sideshow territory to something more menacing long ago. And if we let him keep going at this rate, the potential damage he and his fanatical base could inflict is quickly becoming all too real.