Homeland Security

New Al-Shabaab Video Delivers ISIS-Style Threats to West, Cites Bush in Recruiting Pitch

A new Al-Shabaab video features ISIS-style threats to strike at the West and uses George W. Bush quotes to try to lure western Muslims to jihad.

The video, an installment of a series called “Mujahideen Moments,” begins with Al-Shabaab members fishing in a river. It then cuts to a group of camouflage-clad jihadis with their faces obscured.

“Firstly I would like to send my greetings to all the Muslims around the world in general and to the Muslims who speak Swahili in specific,” says a light-skinned jihadist in the center, his face blurred. “The time has come for Muslims to wake up and fight the kuffar [disbelievers]. By Allah, we cannot return our long lost glory until we take up weapons and arm ourselves.”

“I swear by Allah, my dear brothers, the feelings of honor and dignity that we the mujahideen feel are indescribable. Even if I wanted to explain it to you I would not be able to do so,” he continues, chiding would-be recruits to “not be content with living a life of oppression under the rule of the kuffar.”

“Make hijrah [pilgrimage] and come to the lands of Islam so that you can defend this religion. We, your brothers here, are proud that we came to one of the lands of jihad, the land of Somalia, where we met with our brothers who trained us how to fight and taught us the art of war.”

Then the message takes another turn reminiscent of ISIS’ video released last weekend of the Paris attackers threatening the West.

“To the kuffar, we say, we are on our way coming for you,” the Al-Shabaab terrorist says. “We will hunt you down in your own lands. We will not let you live in peace and you will know that we are the lions of war. We are a nation that loves death just like you love living. You strive day in, day out to fill your bank accounts but we on the other hand want our accounts to be in Jannah [paradise]. We are ready to sacrifice ourselves fully.”

Al-Shabaab is officially part of al-Qaeda, though there has been infighting within the group among those who want to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over Ayman al-Zawahiri.

“To the Muslims I say again, the only thing we want from you is to stand behind us and our chests will be in the forefront in striving to eliminate the oppression that you live in. Just stand behind us and we will defend you,” the Shabaab jihadist says in the video. “Furthermore, we are warning you of allying yourselves with the kuffar and acting as human shields for them. Therefore, my dear brothers, do not be afraid. Come on and join our ranks.”

“Just like the kafir Bush had said, today there are only two groups. Although he is a liar he spoke the truth when he said you are either with us or with the terrorists. What he really meant was that you are either with us or with the Muslims.”

Thus, he said, “we call Muslims all over the world to make hijrah” so they can “train you so that you can fight against the kuffar who are a people that always turn their backs in the battleground.”

Al-Shabaab was the target of an unusual public protest this week as citizens denounced the terrorists group for a brutal attack on a Mogadishu beach.

More than 20 people were killed on Jan. 21 when Al-Shabaab detonated a car bomb at the Beach View Hotel on Lido beach, followed by four gunmen opening fire on men, women and children. Another explosion hit a seafood restaurant.

Al-Shabaab phoned Al-Jazeera to claim responsibility for the attack while it was still going on.

A week after the massacre, hundreds of Somalis — especially women — came out to enjoy the beach and demand that Al-Shabaab’s reign of terror be stopped.