President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and now his senior advisor Kellyanne Conway has in an interview with an American TV channel referred to a made up terrorist attack committed by Iraqi refugees, the “Bowling Green Massacre” while defending the US ban on refugees and immigrants from seven majority Muslim countries.
According to journalists, no such massacre ever happened.
“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 radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre,” Conway said during an exchange on the program.
She claimed that most people don’t know about the incident because it didn’t get covered.
What Conway was likely referring to was an incident in 2011 in which two Iraqi nationals were indicted for allegedly having ties to IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attacks against the U.S. troops in Iraq, according to Vox news.
In 2011, two Iraqi refugees, Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, were arrested in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on federal terrorism charges. Allegedly, they had been plotting to send money and weapons back home to Iraqi insurgents.
During the investigation, the FBI found something worrying: fingerprints from Alwan on a roadside bomb in Iraq. This suggested there was a very specific flaw in America’s refugee screening process: databases of fingerprints from Iraqi militants were not well-integrated into the broader State Department-run refugee admissions process.
The incident led to the then president Barack Obama ordering a fresh screening of roughly 57,000 Iraqis refugees, who had entered the country and tougher checks for those coming in the future.
This process was time-intensive and resulted in a significant slowdown in Iraqi refugee admissions to the United States for six months, as claimed by Conway during the program.