Somalia’s Islamist militant group al-Shabaab has used a clip of Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump in its latest recruitment film.
The group released a recruitment film in the form of a documentary about racial injustice in the United States featuring Trump’s recent call to ban all Muslims from the country, SITE Monitoring reported on Saturday.
Trump, the billionaire developer and former reality TV star, was shown in the 51-minute film making his case for America to ban all Muslims from the country as his supporters cheered.
The footage of Trump appeared between two clips of militant leader Anwar al-Awlaki, killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011, saying Muslims in the United States would face a choice between leaving for Islamic countries or staying at home to fight the West.
The film was distributed on Twitter on Friday by the al-Kataib Media Foundation, an Islamist militant organisation, SITE reported.
On Twitter on Saturday Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, responded.
“How stupid MSM [mainstream media] thinks we are?” he wrote. “They claim al-Shabaab use of @realDonaldTrump fuels their growth. Were at this long before Trump run #POTUS”.
Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States has been widely condemned by American politicians. It has also provoked an international uproar and led to criticism that his views could be used as propaganda by Islamist militants.
Al-Shabaab, which seeks to overthrow Somalia’s Western-backed government and impose a strict version of sharia, or Islamic law, has links to the international militant group al-Qaida and has carried out attacks in Kenya and Ethiopia.