Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, Al-Shabaab, released a terrorist recruitment video on Friday depicting presidential candidate Donald Trump and deceased terrorist suspect Anwar al-Aulaqi, commonly misspelled as “al-Awlaki,” of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Unlike Trump, al-Aulaqi dined with top military officials at the Pentagon in the months following the 9/11 attacks while working as an FBI informant.
Although al-Aulaqi has appeared in several terrorist videos, this marks the first time Trump has been featured in a terrorist recruitment video. Before inserting the clip of Trump’s vile hate speech from December, al-Aulaqi warns “Muslims of the West” of the United States’ brutal past and deeply racist roots.
“There are ominous clouds gathering in your horizon,” al-Aulaqi declared in the video. “Yesterday, America was a land of slavery, segregation, lynching, and Ku Klux Klan. And tomorrow it will be a land of religious discrimination and concentration camps.”
Before the CIA decided to execute him with a targeted drone strike, al-Aulaqi was born on April 21, 1971, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Shortly after becoming an imam in San Diego, California, al-Aulaqi was arrested for soliciting prostitutes in August 1996 and April 1997. He pled guilty to both charges and later became infamous as the imam who preached at mosques attended by three of the 9/11 hijackers.
While publicly denouncing the terrorist attacks, al-Aulaqi secretly began cooperating with the FBI as a confidential informant. A few months after the 9/11 attacks, al-Aulaqi was invited to give a speech at the Pentagon. The future terrorist also attended the luncheon with top military officials in the Pentagon at an event apparently sponsored by then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
In 2002, al-Aulaqi conducted a prayer service for the Congressional Muslim Staffer Association at the U.S. Capitol. As his sermons became more radicalized, al-Aulaqi had a falling out with the FBI before deciding to move to England. After moving to Yemen in early 2004, al-Aulaqi was arrested for kidnapping and repeatedly interrogated by FBI agents pressuring the Yemeni government to keep him imprisoned.
Following his release in December 2007, al-Aulaqi sought vengeance against the U.S. government by offering support to al-Qaeda and inspiring American Muslims to commit domestic acts of terrorism. On September 30, 2011, two Predator drones launched from a secret CIA base in Saudi Arabia, crossed the border into northern Yemen, and fired Hellfire missiles at a vehicle containing al-Aulaqi. The government would later learn one of the passengers in Anwar’s vehicle had been another U.S. citizen, Samir Khan. On the evening of October 14, 2011, Anwar’s innocent 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi, attended a barbecue with his friends and cousins when a UAV butchered everyone in the vicinity. A month later, a CIA drone strike killed Florida native Jude Kenan Mohammad in Pakistan.
So far the U.S. government has deployed drones to murder eight American citizens with no concern for due process or a constitutionally mandated fair trial. The Obama administration is also responsible for allowing the CIA to deploy drone strikes against a Yemeni wedding and a Pakistani tribal council meeting with total impunity.
Following al-Aulaqi’s warning, the recruitment video switches to Trump’s speech from December 2015.
“So remember this, so listen, Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” Trump arrogantly referred to himself in the third person.
“The West will eventually turn against its Muslim citizens,” al-Aulaqi predicted in the video. “You either leave or you fight. You leave and live among Muslims, or you stay behind and follow the example of Nidal Hasan and others who fulfilled their duty of fighting for Allah’s cause.”
In November 2009, Maj. Nidal Hasan was the Army psychiatrist who killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others during the Fort Hood shooting. He credited al-Aulaqi as the spiritual inspiration behind the attack.
Although U.S. history is marred with bigotry and racial oppression, not every American stands in agreement with Trump. If the presidential candidate is correct in assuming all Muslims want to kill non-Muslims, then Trump would’ve been killed years ago. Every society is composed of rational people and psychopaths, but it is our responsibility to keep the psychopaths out of power. And in this duty, we have failed.
The juxtaposition of Trump and al-Aulaqi clearly depicts both ends of the hate spectrum. As al-Aulaqi predicted deteriorating racial tensions in the U.S., Trump has become the perfect propaganda tool by fulfilling the terrorist’s dystopian prophecy.
As we reported last month, ISIS has the stated mission of stoking hate between Muslims and non-Muslims. They want to eliminate the ‘grayzone’ or the area in which religions peacefully coexist. In a recent ISIS publication, titled Extinction of the Grayzone, the terrorist group made clear that the strategy has been at play for the past 14 years.
“The grayzone is critically endangered, rather on the brink of extinction. It’s endangerment began with the blessed operation of September 11th, as these operations manifested two camps before the world for mankind to choose between, a camp of Islam… and a camp of kufr – the crusader coalition.”
Those of us not blinded by bigotry and hate already knew that Donald Trump is terrorism’s greatest recruitment tool – and now, with the release of this video – it’s official.
Instead of fighting terrorism, Trump has merely succeeded in personifying the worst in humanity’s corrupted soul.