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Bowling Green Massacre survivors mark themselves safe on Facebook

The president's counsel cited a fake terrorist attack, and the internet had a field day.


John-Michael Bond

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 3, 2017   Updated on May 25, 2021, 1:50 am CDT

Whether it’s inflating the number of people who came to the inauguration, or claiming millions of people voted illegally in the last election without proof, the Trump administration has come out of the gate with salty public relations. Still, most gaffes have been about modifications of things that actually happened. 

But this week Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway claimed a terrorist attack happened in Bowling Green. Don’t worry, you didn’t miss a story. She made it up. 

Thankfully the internet was there respond with savage jokes. Best of all: Users on Facebook “marked themselves safe” during the “attack” and shared their memories. 





The best response, however, was in the form of the Bowling Green Massacre Victims Fund. At the bottom of the page, which begs for donations for the victims of this imaginary attack, the fund pays tribute to the woman who made it possible.

Sadly, the story that Conway thought she was citing is an example of what happens when politicized intelligence goes wrong. There were two Iraq refugees who were arrested by the FBI in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 2009 for helping provide ship weapons and money to terrorists. The problem is they were set up by an FBI informant, who gave them plans, encouraged them to act, and supplied all the materials for their alleged operation. While it was alleged that they were part of a larger terrorist cell in Kentucky, no proof ever materialized. 

So yes, two men were radicalized in Bowling Green. But they never hurt anybody and they were radicalized by an FBI informant. 

Conway, to her credit, has apologized.

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*First Published: Feb 3, 2017, 8:01 pm CST