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09 August 2017, 08:08 | Melissa Porter
White House defends silence on mosque bombing, says it might have been faked by liberals
White House official Sebastian Gorka said on Wednesday that he's not convinced yet that the bombing of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis was not a "fake hate crime".
Trump has been criticized for not issuing a statement on the attack, which has been described as "a criminal act of terrorism" by Minnesota governor Mark Dayton, and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
It was the last statement that drew the ire of Minnesota Representative and DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison, also the first Muslim American elected to Congress.
"We are wondering why President Trump has not tweeted about this", Asad Zaman, director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, told BuzzFeed News. This hypocrisy must be called out.
Trump's rhetoric in response to suspected terrorism has been so profoundly irresponsible that the Associated Press published a fact-checking piece in June that said the president "can't be counted on to give accurate information to Americans when violent acts are unfolding overseas". Thankfully, nobody was injured, but the imam's office was damaged.
"When we have some kind of finalized investigation, absolutely, so there's a great rule: all initial reports are false".
"We've had a series of crimes committed, alleged hate crimes by rivaling individuals in the last six months that turned out to actually be propagated by the left, so let's wait and see".
A blustery Gorka expanded on what Trump said by using colorful language of his own.
'The question of who does it is a question, ' Gorka said.
[Gorka] suggested the attack could have been a "fake" hate crime.
The phrase was circulated by white supremacists to describe themselves in the 1990s, and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was somewhat inaccurately considered a lone wolf by law enforcement - which launched Operation Lone Wolf in 1998 against violent racists. You do know that.
"We are not just a superpower", Mr Gorka said. "There never been a serious attack or a serious plot that was unconnected from ISIS or al-Qaeda, at least through the ideology and TTPs, tactics and training and techniques and procedures, that they supply through the internet - never happened, it's bogus".
Gorka's warning comes amid heightened fears of potential war with North Korea, after President Donald Trump on Tuesday promised to unleash "fire and fury" in retaliation against North Korea's ongoing threats against the United States and its allies. "When people don't want to become jihadis, that's when we will have won", Gorka said.
But Trump has been quick to comment on other recent terrorist attacks without having all the facts, especially those assumed to have been carried out by Muslims.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) noted a 91 percent rise in anti-Muslim hate crime since the start of the year.
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