President Donald Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim-majority nations will be used by ISIS as a recruitment tool, giving the militant group a major propaganda boost, former jihadists have told CNN.
The executive order, which blocks all immigrants and visa holders who are citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, reinforces ISIS' narrative, according to former jihadi Abu Abdullah.
"It can play into their propaganda, to make it clear for anyone who could be in doubt, that it's a war on Islam and all Muslims," Abdullah told CNN over a messaging service. The names of the now-defected foreign fighters in this story have been changed to protect their identities.
Another former jihadi said the wedge being driven between Muslims living in the West and their governments is exactly what ISIS wants.
"[Trump's] helped ISIS a lot, he's basically being a tool for them in a way," Abu Obaida, a British former Jabhat al-Nusra fighter in Syria, told CNN via direct message. "On social media right now there's a lot of people quoting Anwar al-Awlaki (the late spokesperson for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) and his last speech when he said that America will turn on the Muslims."
It's really a no-brainer.
The entire point of hating America is the deeply ingrained belief that we are anti-Muslim, which is exacerbated by our numerous conflicts with Middle Eastern counties.
However Donald Trump has now ratcheted that up far more than previous presidents by actually banning immigrants based on the Islamic country from which they come.
And of course saying things like this:
I imagine the next terrorist attacks we suffer will be substantially more costly than the ones that occurred during the Obama administration.