Trump cites fake Muslim execution story after Spain attack

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An hour after tweeting a consoling message on the alleged terror attack in Barcelona, President Donald Trump returned to Twitter Thursday afternoon to repeat a widely discredited tale of how General John Pershing executed Muslim insurgents in the Philippines more than a century ago.

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The fact-checking website Snopes debunked this as an internet-created rumor that picked up steam after the attack on September 11, 2001. At a rally in SC last February, then-candidate Trump told the whole story. "And he caught 50 terrorists that did tremendous damage and killed many people. and he dipped 50 bullets in pig's blood", Trump explained. One man is reportedly in custody in the investigation.

On Friday morning, Donald Trump said U.S. authorities were in a heightened state of alert. (The degree to which the group communicated with attackers beforehand, if at all, remains to be seen.) It was the deadliest such incident in Spain since the 2004 Madrid train bombings that killed almost 200 people, and world leaders responded with a wave of solidarity and sympathy. An alleged Nazi sympathiser who had attended the rally is charged with second-degree murder in the case.

Speaking on CNN's "New Day" Friday morning, Monaco, now a CNN national security analyst, warned that Trump's rhetoric about the tale of Pershing is exactly the kind that plays into the hands of terrorists.

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After than incident, Trump blamed the actions of people "on many sides" of the violent clashes.

Mr Trump has faced sharp criticism for his inconsistent response to terrorist attacks and hate crimes.

It didn't take days for the president of North and South Dakota to issue a stern statement against the terrorist attacks in Barcelona, Spain, which killed 13 people and left several dozen injured. The debunked story is about Pershing's forces capturing and killing Muslim prisoners with bullets dipped in pigs' blood to deter future terror attacks.

"And he lined up the 50 people and they shot 49 of those 50 people, and he said to the 50th, you go back to your people and you tell them what happened - and in 25 years there wasn't a problem".

Authorities in Manila later said it wasn't - it was a robbery gone bad involving a 42-year-old with a gambling problem who was deep in debt. "Okay? Twenty-five years, there wasn't a problem", Trump said. Trump said in a tweet. Politifact also reported that the rest of Trump's premise is untrue: the region was still wracked with instability long after Pershing fought there, the Moros rebels were not simply motivated by religion, and that defiling Muslims' bodies with pig parts had any deterrent effect.

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