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Trump shrugs off jihadist video citing his call to ban Muslims

US presidential candidate Donald Trump has defended his call to ban Muslims from entering America, after the Somalia based al-Shabab militant group used his words in a recruiting video.

Speaking to the American CBS network on Sunday, the Republican front-runner said it was no surprise that jihadist groups would exploit his remarks.

Trump added that he would not shy away from speaking his mind.

"What am I going to do?" Trump asked. "I have to say what I have to say. And you know what I have to say? There's a problem. We have to find out what is the problem. And we have to solve that problem."

In December, Trump called for "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," comments which the al-Shabab used in a recent recruitment video to illustrate the alleged Western hostility towards Muslims.

"The West will eventually turn against its Muslim citizens," the militant group said in the propaganda video released on Friday.

In the CBS interview, the real estate mogul also claimed that his remarks on Muslims had sparked a worldwide debate.

"Big parts of the world are saying, Trump is really right, at least identifying what's going on," he said.

Hillary Clinton 'lied'

In the last Democratic presidential debate in December, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused Trump of being the "best recruiter" for the so-called "Islamic State" (IS), and of providing the jihadists with fodder for their propaganda. However, there was no evidence to support her claim at the time.

On Sunday, Trump said that the new al-Shabab video doesn't change the fact that Clinton was wrong.

"It wasn't ISIS and it wasn't made at the time, and she lied" he said on "Fox & Friends," using another name for the IS militant group.

Al-Shabab seeks to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Somalia and impose Sharia law in the East African country. The faction is affiliated with al-Qaeda, although some fighters have recently switched sides to support the "Islamic State."

dj/cmk (dpa, AP, AFP)

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