It is no surprise that ISIS is employing every means possible to promote the election of Trump. His election would be the best thing that could ever happen to boost recruitment efforts.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump took the same stage for the first time on Wednesday to address crucial questions about national security and combatting terrorism in a “Commander-in-Chief Forum” on NBC. Voters tuned in to evaluate which candidate has the temperament, experience and vision to be America’s next Commander-in-Chief.
But they weren’t the only ones who were watching. In recent months, ISIS has made clear that it’s closely following this election, too—and it has chosen a candidate. Interviews with ISIS members and analysis of social media, including in a recent Foreign Affairs article by Mara Revkin and Ahmad Mhidi, make it clear: “ISIS is rooting for Trump.”
This year, ISIS isn’t simply a passive observer of American politics. Since the group’s rapid rise in 2014, ISIS has established a far-reaching, sophisticated propaganda machine. Its members rely on social media to shape public opinion, recruit new members and mobilize followers to carry out attacks. Now, some of them are using those channels to advocate for Trump. In August, one ISIS spokesman wrote: “I ask Allah to deliver America to Trump.” Another supporter declared: “The ‘facilitation’ of Trump’s arrival in the White House must be a priority for jihadists at any cost!!!” ISIS is working to drum up support for the candidate it has called “the perfect enemy.”