The weekly newspaper linked to the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al Masra, featured President Donald Trump’s chief strategist and former Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon on its front page, in a column claiming Bannon is seeking war against “Islamic fascism.”
According to a translation from Quartz:
The article claims that Bannon wants armed struggle—that he believes that “the forces of Islam cannot be stopped by peaceful means,” citing a conversation a Danish journalist says he had with Bannon in May 2016 (likely referring to this article). Before becoming advisor to the president, Bannon did refer to conflict with Islam, telling an audience at the Vatican via Skype in 2014: “We’re now, I believe at the beginning stages of global war against Islamic fascism.”
During his time hosting the Sirius XM radio show Breitbart News Daily and its predecessor, Bannon regularly condemned the terrorist group. The AQAP publication has returned the favor.
In November 2016, the Al Masra published a lengthy article chastising Bannon and Breitbart News as “racist.”
“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,” reported Al Masra, warning that Bannon would bring “white race supremacy” into the White House.
Some far-left critics in the press and social media, who would likely find the label “Islamic extremist” offensive, are saying that al-Qaeda is using Bannon’s picture to recruit potential recruits to its cause.
The Yemen-based AQAP publication has also criticized President Donald Trump and America as a whole.
In October, Al Masra noted that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is “famous for his-anti Muslim attitude,” would cause an increase in anti-U.S. sentiment from Muslims if elected president.
U.S. officials describe AQAP as the most dangerous branch of al-Qaeda. While a U.S.-backed coalition in Yemen led by Saudi Arabia has primarily focused on Iran-allied Shiite Houthi rebels, AQAP has flourished.