A top Isis commander in Afghanistan has called the President-elect Donald Trump a “complete maniac” and said his “utter hate towards Muslims” will make it “much easier” to recruit thousands more supporters.
Mr Trump was widely condemned for his call, shortly after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the United States until he figured out “what the hell was going on”.
The Republican and his allies have consistently defended the ban, insisting the measure was about Americans’ “safety” and not about discriminating against religion.
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Mr Trump has since toned down his call for the ban saying he would temporarily suspend immigration from countries that have “a history of exporting terrorism”.
But Taliban commanders and Islamic State supporters have said the rhetoric Mr Trump used during his campaign will help their recruitment efforts, especially among disaffected young people 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 Isis 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,” Khorasani continued, describing President Barack Obama as a moderate infidel with a little more intelligence than Mr Trump.
A senior Taliban commander in Afghanistan said the group had kept track of Mr 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.”
Al-Qaeda, which launched the 11 September attacks on New York and the Pentagon, has not yet commented on Mr Trump’s win.
However, Hisham al Hashimi an adviser to the Iraqi government on Sunni jihadist movements, told Reuters that “Al-Qaeda is known for its recruitment strategy that heavily quotes speeches of the White House and other Western officials.”
Iraq’s powerful Shia Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said in a statement: “He [Donald Trump] 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.”
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The President-elect vocalised his tough stance on Islamic militants during his campaign, vowing to defeat “radical Islam just as we won the Cold War”. However, he has failed to give extensive details on his plans to combat jihadist groups.
The US saw a number of attacks inspired by Islamic militants during Mr Trump’s presidential campaign, including the killing of 14 people in December 2015 in San Bernardino, California by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, who allegedly pledged allegiance to Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the June massacre of 49 people in an Orlando nightclub by a gunman who made a phone call before the attack saying, “I pledge my allegiance to [Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi] of the Islamic State.”
Officials have warned the US is likely to face similar attacks as Isis calls on its supporters to launch attacks at home rather than making the journey to the Middle East.
Mr Trump’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the statements from the militants.
Even if the President-elect tones down his anti-Muslim comments when he takes office in January, analysts say his statements during the campaign 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.”