US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has reiterated his call to ban Muslims from entering the US, despite his comments being used in a propaganda video for the Somali terrorist group al Shabaab.
In the new video, the Al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab uses an excerpt from Mr Trump’s December 7 speech — made after an attack by a radicalised couple in California killed 14 people — to encourage Western Muslims to wage jihad.
After describing Mr Trump’s call for a ban, the video goes on to say, “The West will eventually turn against its Muslim citizens.”
Asked about it on CBS, the Republican frontrunner seemed to shrug his shoulders.
“What am I going to do?” Mr Trump asked. “I have to say what I have to say. And you know what I have to say? There’s a problem. We have to find out what is the problem. And we have to solve that problem.”
Mr Trump’s call for a total, if temporary, ban had drawn criticism around the globe, including from Hillary Clinton, the front running Democratic candidate, who said his remarks were used by radicals in recruitment videos — a suggestion Mr Trump aides had sharply denied.
Mrs Clinton accused Mr Trump of being “ISIS’s best recruiter” and said radical jihadists were “showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists”.
Mr Trump accused her of lying, but Ms Clinton’s spokeswoman insisted that his remarks were “being used in social media by ISIS as propaganda.”
US media outlets were unable to find any footage to back up Ms Clinton’s initial claim.
Al Shabaab, which was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s internationally backed government, which is protected by 22,000 African Union troops.