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Al-Shabab extremists brand Donald Trump 'brainless billionaire'

Somalia-based Islamic extremists al-Shabab have mocked US president Donald Trump in a new video that calls him a "brainless billionaire" as his administration steps up military efforts against the group.

The new video said US voters elected "arguably the most stupid president a country could ever have" and said Mr Trump is "making the United States the greatest joke on earth and is now propelling it further to its eventual defeat and destruction".

The SITE Intelligence Group said the video also addresses next month's presidential election in neighbouring Kenya.

The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab has claimed a growing number of deadly attacks in Kenya as the election approaches, with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta declaring a new offensive against the extremists this month.

Mr Trump earlier this year approved expanded military operations against al-Shabab, including more aggressive air strikes and considering parts of southern Somalia areas of active hostilities.

Somalia is also included in Mr Trump's ban on refugees and visitors from six mostly Muslim countries.

The extremist group has vowed retribution on Kenya in particular for sending its troops to Somalia to take part in a multinational African Union force against al-Shabab.

"Your military's invasion of Somalia will continue to destabilise your country," the new al-Shabab video said . "When we do strike, your government will not be able to protect you."

Somalia is trying to rebuild after more than two decades as a failed state, and its chaos helped fuel al-Shabab's rise.

The extremist group last year killed more than 4,200 people, according to the Pentagon-supported Africa Centre for Strategic Studies.

Al-Shabab has vowed to step up attacks against Somalia's recently elected government and has carried out numerous deadly attacks in the capital, Mogadishu.

Pressure is growing on Somalia's military to assume full responsibility for the country's security.

The 22,000-strong African Union multinational force, which has been supporting the fragile central government, plans to start withdrawing in 2018 and leave by the end of 2020.

The US military has been among those expressing concern that Somalia's forces are not yet ready.

AP

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