Al-Qaeda’s media outlet in Yemen, a newspaper called Al Masra, has published a lengthy article slamming President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Stephen K. Bannon, former executive chairman of Breitbart News and host of Breitbart News Daily, as chief White House strategist.
As translated by The Foreign Desk, al-Qaeda said that Bannon is “considered a far-right person, and he is the executive chairman of the controversial far-right Breitbart website.”
“He has already published racist titles against women, Jews, and Muslims. Bannon has changed Breitbart website into far-right forum for Neo-Nazis groups who believes in the white race supremacy and anti-Semitism,” the terrorist organization’s media mouthpiece continued, warning that Bannon would bring “white race supremacy” into the White House.
According to The Foreign Desk, al-Qaeda approvingly cited criticism of Bannon from a number of “Democratic senators and organizations,” plus an adviser to one of Trump’s 2016 GOP primary rivals, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, and independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin.
They also cited the Anti-Defamation League, having apparently missed the news that the ADL has retracted its accusations of anti-Semitism against Bannon and Breitbart News. (One suspects al-Qaeda magazines aren’t terribly meticulous about researching charges of anti-Semitism.)
Also pilloried in the Al Masra piece are former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, because he was mean to Yasser Arafat once. The terrorists aren’t big fans of the other oft-mentioned Secretary of State candidates, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, either.
As for Trump himself, Al Masra portrayed the American media as being in “shock” over Trump’s election victory, because they thought he was a “clown candidate” who they only hosted to “gain commercials and highest viewing rates.” Only now do they realize they were “helping him indirectly to win the presidential race.”
It’s not all brickbats for Trump and his team from Al Masra, however. A Sunni cleric linked to al-Qaeda’s franchise in Syria, the Nusra Front, predicted that Trump’s victory would “hasten the end of the American-Shiite coalition” – in other words, Barack Obama’s coddling of Iran – and thus be counted as “a crucial step towards Sunni victory.”
Also, they think Trump’s appointment of Reince Priebus as chief of staff was a “conciliatory move” to appease critics of Steve Bannon. Say what you will about al-Qaeda, but they can distill conventional political wisdom from the New York Times just like everyone else.
Al Masra was rather gloomy about the entire U.S. presidential election, dismissing Hillary Clinton for her “deceptive politics and maneuvers to gain power,” and expecting that she would continue Obama’s Iran-friendly Shiite-boosting policies.
The paper also razzed President Obama on his way out, declaring in March that he would be leaving office “amidst an increase in the power of al-Qaeda, where he was unable to fulfill his promises to eliminate it or close the Guantanamo detainment facilities, or secure the interests of America after the fall of the Arab regimes in the countries of the Arab Spring.”