Trump Adviser Cites Fake Terrorist Attack To Justify Travel Ban

Published February 3, 2017
Updated November 7, 2023

The "Bowling Green Massacre" never happened. It is an "alternative fact."

A senior adviser to President Donald Trump has come under fire for citing a fake terrorist attack as justification for the administration’s U.S. travel ban recently imposed on visitors and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Kellyanne Conway, who frequently speaks to the media on Trump’s behalf, blamed two Iraqi refugees for a fictitious “Bowling Green massacre” in an interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball this Thursday.

Furthermore, Conway — Trump’s former campaign manager and a woman who frequently appears on cable news networks as the public face of the Trump administration — compared Trump’s executive order banning travelers to a narrowly focused six-month ban that former President Barack Obama implemented in 2011.

However, many commentators have debunked this idea, arguing that Obama’s version was only a pause button on Iraqi refugee processing and that it was a response to two Iraqi nationals attempting to give money and weapons to Al Qaeda.

“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. “Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”

However, the reason it didn’t get covered is because it never happened. The two men to which Conway referred lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but did not carry out any terrorist attack. The U.S. Department of Justice even said in 2012, after announcing that the pair were convicted of federal terrorism offenses and given life sentences, that, “Neither was charged with plotting attacks within the United States.”

The two men were convicted of participating in attacks against U.S. soldiers in Iraq and sending money overseas to fund terrorist activities. However, neither actually perpetrated nor planned an attack inside the U.S., according to the Department of Justice.

And now, according to the Cato Institute, not a single foreign national from the seven Muslim-majority countries targeted by Trump’s executive order (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia) killed an American in a terrorist attack between 1975 to 2015.

Conway has since claimed that she simply meant to refer to “Bowling Green terrorists” and not a “Bowling Green Massacre.”

Next, find out why the EU president says that the United States is a threat under Trump, before reading up on Trump’s decision to drop intelligence and military advisors from the National Security Council and replace them with political adviser Stephen Bannon.

Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
Cite This Article
Cox, Savannah. "Trump Adviser Cites Fake Terrorist Attack To Justify Travel Ban.", February 3, 2017, Accessed April 24, 2024.