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Old speech, photo used in false FBI Muslim crackdown story

Last Updated Feb 15, 2018 at 2:20 pm MDT

A story that falsely reports President Donald Trump ordered the FBI in all 50 U.S. states to take action immediately against Muslim people is based largely on a speech 10 months ago by the then-head of the Department of Homeland Security, and also misquotes that speech.

The site newstrumpereteers suggests the president has “just ordered” his cabinet to rein in crime by pursuing domestic terrorists. The report includes quotes from an April speech in Washington by then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly — now Trump’s chief of staff. Kelly said the FBI had “open terrorism investigations in 50 states,” but did not say the probes were started on Trump’s orders.

Kelly also never mentioned Muslims, although he said America had an enemy in “radical Islam” and cited past plots to attack the U.S. linked to the militant Islamic State group.

The story was accompanied by a 1994 photo of FBI agents drilling outside the New York Giants Stadium.


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.