Terror Threat US: Is there any truth to Donald Trump's rhetoric?


While campaigning in Minneapolis on Saturday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump warned Americans of yet another minority population supposedly threatening the country's safety: This time, it was Somali refugees. 

"Here in Minnesota, you've seen first-hand the problems caused with faulty refugee vetting, with very large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your state without your knowledge, without your support or approval," Trump said, according to the Guardian.

"Some of them [are] joining ISIS and spreading their extremist views all over our country and all over the world," he added. "Everybody's reading about the disaster taking place in Minnesota. You don't even have the right to talk about it."

Trump's vitriol was prompted by a September knife attack in a Minnesota mall by a young man of Somali descent.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges did not take kindly to his rhetoric, turning to Facebook to counter what she described as his "ignorant tirade." 

"Minneapolis is a better, stronger place for having our Somali and East African immigrants and refugees in it," Hodges wrote. 

In the week running up to the election, United States intelligence did warn of potential al-Qaeda threats in New York, Texas and Virginia, but that warning made no mention of people of Somalian descent. According to the Washington Post, the "the nature of the threat ... remains vague."

Subsequently, Muslims across eight states were reportedly questioned by intelligence agents, to the outrage of the Council on American Islamic Relations, who suggested the government was racially profiling. 

"The FBI actions ... to conduct a sweep of American Muslim leaders the weekend before the election is completely outrageous and ... borderline unconstitutional," lawyer Hassan Shibly, who is also executive director of CAIR in Florida, told the Washington Post. "That's the equivalent of the FBI visiting churchgoing Christians because someone overseas was threatening to blow up an abortion clinic. It's that preposterous and outrageous."

Civil rights arguments aside, both the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI said they were "vigilant and well-postured to defend against attacks here in the United States," the Washington Post reported.