One of Donald Trump’s advisors has attempted to justify his ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries by citing an entirely fabricated terrorist attack.
Kellyanne Conway then went on to complain that no media covered the made-up attack.
Speaking on MSNBC on Thursday night, Conway said:
“I bet it’s brand-new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalised and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”
What Conway may have been trying to refer to was an incident in 2011 when two Iraqi refugees were arrested in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Mohanad Shareef Hammadi and Waad Ramadan Alwan believed they were sending money and weapons to al-Qaeda in Iraq when in fact, they were caught in an FBI sting operation.
The pair are now both serving life sentences in prison on federal terrorism charges but there was never any “massacre” and they were never accused of killing anyone.
There were also suggestions that Conway may have been influenced by false rumours about a Halloween massacre which went around several US universities in 1998, including Ohio’s Bowling Green State University.
There was also never a ban on the refugee programme which Conway referred to in her answer.
The Obama administration delayed processing refugees as it expanded screening measures; refugees already in the country were re-screened. Iraqi refugees continued to enter the country, just at a slower pace.
Conway later tweeted claiming she had meant to say “Bowling Green terrorists”.
Her comments prompted many to joke about the non-existent event...
Conway was roundly mocked earlier this year for her defence of White House press secretary Sean Spicer for telling reporters that “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe,” following Trump’s inuaguration.
Aerial photos showed that Trump drew a far smaller crowd to his inaugural address than President Obama did.
Conway called Spicer’s claims “alternative facts”.