A Senior Research Fellow in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Oxford University recently noticed that chief White House strategist Steve Bannon is popping up in the recruitment literature of a certain unsavory organization, namely Al Qaeda.
According to Dr. Elisabeth Kendall, Bannon is featured on the front page of the Al Qaeda-affiliated publication Al Masra in an article that highlights the negative comments he’s made about Islam.
— Elisabeth Kendall (@Dr_E_Kendall) February 28, 2017
“America is clearly becoming a more prominent target,” Kendall told ThinkProgress.
“Trump has created an upsurge in militant jihadist attention on America — it was previously on America but also on many other targets like Shiites in Yemen, Iraq and even Syria — but this has really refocused attention on America itself.”
Papers like Al Qaeda’s Al Masra heavily plagiarize Western media; it’s not uncommon to find quotes from outlets like the Economist, the Guardian, or the Atlantic, Kendall told ThinkProgress. The recent uptick in press coverage of Bannon’s influence could be why he’s found a place in Al Qaeda literature.
Jihadist groups keep tabs on the American political arena and will have noted the growing anti-Muslim sentiment emanating from the higher echelons of power. Bannon and Trump’s anti-Muslim sentiments have clearly influenced jihadist groups.
The scenario of a clash between Islam and the West is an idea Bannon has pushed for a long time — and it’s a message that experts say bolsters the message of Islamic extremists.
“[Trump’s Muslim ban is] far more potent than any video or other piece of propaganda,” Charlie Winter, a senior fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence at King’s College London, told CNN.