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September 22, 2017

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Trump revived an old 'pigs blood' myth in response to the Barcelona attack

A story that was debunked after Donald Trump used it in last year's presidential campaign was raised again on Thursday by the president in reaction to the terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain.

"Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught," Trump said on Twitter. "There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!"

The tweet refers to a discredited story about General John J Pershing. The World War I officer, according to the legend, dipped bullets into pig blood, then used the bullets to shoot 50 Muslim prisoners.

The legend, which has been spread on the internet, describes the event taking place in the Philippines in an attempt to quell the Moro rebellion against the U.S. military from 1899 to 1913.

The blood of pigs would block Muslims from reaching paradise in the afterlife. The Islamic religion prohibits of pork.

Historians say there is not the slightest reason to believe that Pershing took the actions. Trump was criticized when he repeated the tale during the campaign in defence of his support for methods of torture, such as waterboarding, on terrorist suspects.

In numerous reactions to Trump's tweet, many people noted that while the rest of the world mourned the victims of the terrorist attack, the US president referred to a lie that glorified the execution of Muslim prisoners.

Some people also noted that Trump quickly identified the Barcelona incident as terrorism, saying he was much slower to do the same after a car-ramming against counter-demonstrators at a Virginia white supremacist rally on Saturday that killed one woman.

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