Americas

Trump spreads claim of prayer rugs at southern border

President cites anonymous rancher who offers no proof of claim, admits she never saw any Middle Easterners

18.01.2019
Trump spreads claim of prayer rugs at southern border

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that Muslim prayer rugs were found near the southern border, stoking fears about a previous claim that terrorists are illegally crossing into the country from Mexico.

Trump cited a story published Wednesday by The Washington Examiner newspaper, in which a rancher in the state of New Mexico, who remained anonymous, claimed she saw prayer rugs and Chinese, Germans, Russians and Czechs were also found crossing the border.

The author of the article, Anna Giaritelli, is the former press secretary for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an organization deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

"There’s a lot of people coming in not just from Mexico," the rancher told the conservative news outlet. "People, the general public, just don’t get the terrorist threats of that. That’s what’s really scary. You don’t know what’s coming across.

"We’ve found prayer rugs out here. It’s unreal. It’s not just Mexican nationals that are coming across," the rancher added.

The rancher, however, admitted she had not seen any Middle Easterners and the report did not show any proof of prayer rugs.

Trump focused on the prayer rugs, building on an earlier claim he made saying "unknown Middle Easterners" were trying to come into the country as a part of a migrant caravan that made its way up to the southern border from Central America late last year.

"People coming across the Southern Border from many countries, some of which would be a big surprise," Trump tweeted Friday.

Trump has attempted to claim terrorists have been crossing into the U.S. to build support in Washington for his border wall, however, he has admitted that there is no proof for it.

The president has also often equated Islam and Muslims with terrorism, saying that "Islam hates us."

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