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.
Taliban 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, told Reuters.
‘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 Khorasani, who described President Barack Obama as a moderate infidel with at least a little brain in comparison to Trump.
Trump’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the statements from the militants.
A senior Taliban 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 organisations can exploit it,’ said the militant leader, who declined to be identified.
Shortly after Trump’s victory, several jihadist sympathisers 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.’
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 Taliban and al Qaeda, which represent a wide spectrum of political views.