Al-Shabaab delivered one of the most direct media attacks on President Trump seen from a terrorist group during his first six months in office, even using the video tweeted by the president showing him “body-slamming” CNN to argue Trump “is the most stupid president a country could ever have.”
The al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia launched into their criticism in the last minutes of a 37-minute video released Sunday in English and Somali by the group’s Al-Kataib Media Foundation that focuses on trying to convince Kenyans with stats and charts that their government is waging a fruitless war against the terrorists — two weeks ahead of national elections.
ISIS has made few mentions or references to Trump as most of their media has been focused on the Mosul offensive launched in October and the Raqqa offensive launched in November, trying to woo recruits and build out their presence in other areas as they lose caliphate territory. The May issue of the Islamic State’s Rumiyah magazine didn’t mention Trump by name, but said in a direct message to America that the country is “bankrupt and the signs of your end are apparent and visible to the eyes. There is no better evidence of this than that an uncouth idiot has assumed authority over you, while he has no idea what Sham is, what Iraq is, and what Islam is – yet he still raves about showing enmity to it and declaring war against it.”
Al-Qaeda, on the other hand, has chosen to take more direct swipes at the president. The terror group that the State Department recently warned is resilient and adaptable has taken shots at Trump and his policy in their Al-Nafir Bulletin, which in May called the president the “hateful Crusader master” and criticized deals with Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Qasim al-Raymi declared in May that “what America is doing in the era of Trump is a clear sign of their accumulated failure in the American administration,” and called on Muslims “pious and immoral” to fight. Al-Qaeda’s longtime ally in Afghanistan, the Taliban, began directly challenging Trump in their statements just days after the election.
In the Al-Shabaab video, the narrator is masked and speaks in perfect English with a slight accent while telling Kenyans to not “follow the footsteps of the American public” at the ballot box.
“When the Americans voted for Donald Trump last year, they had visions of making America great again. What they underestimated, however, was the man’s level of stupidity. And what they got was arguably the most stupid president a country could ever have,” he said.
The terror group then showed the clip tweeted by Trump earlier this month, using footage from 2007 showing Trump body-slamming World Wrestling Entertainment owner Vince McMahon with the CNN logo imposed over his target’s head.
“A brainless billionaire who single-handedly succeeded in making the United States the greatest joke on Earth, and is now propelling it further toward its eventual defeat and destruction,” the narrator continued, showing the clip of Trump pushing past Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic at May’s NATO summit. “Because for him, comprehending basic tasks, or even the consequences of an endless war against Islam and the Muslims, prove to be harder than the measurement of complementary variables in quantum mechanics.”
Al-Shabaab displayed a few recent articles about Trump, zeroing in on a June column in Foreign Policy magazine titled “Donald Trump Is Proving Too Stupid to Be President.”
“And now just six months into office and those who elected him are hopelessly wishing that they could turn the clock back to November 2016 so that they could elect a more mature and rational candidate,” the narrator added.
The Al-Shabaab member turns the subject back to Kenya, asking if voters would “follow in the footsteps of your masters” or pick a candidate “clean and sober enough to make decisions on your behalf.”
A U.S. service member was killed in a clash with Al-Shabaab in May about 40 miles west of Mogadishu, Somalia, the first U.S. military death there in 11 years. AFRICOM said U.S. forces “were conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army” near Barii as “Al-Shabaab presents a threat to Americans and American interests… U.S. forces are assisting partner forces to counter al-Shabaab in Somalia to degrade the al-Qaeda affiliate’s ability to recruit, train and plot external terror attacks throughout the region and in America.”
In June, the U.S. struck an Al-Shabaab target 185 miles southwest of Mogadishu. The Pentagon said that Trump gave the Defense Department authority in March “to conduct legal action against al-Shabaab within a geographically-defined area of active hostilities in support of partner force in Somalia.”
“We remain committed to working with our Somali partners and allies to systematically dismantle al-Shabaab, and help achieve stability and security throughout the region,” Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana White said June 11.