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Social media posts falsely claim Obama did not respond to 2015 Kenya terrorist attack

April 15, 2019 GMT

CLAIM: “Remember on this day in 2015, 200 Christian college students in Kenya were murdered in their classrooms by Muslim terrorists. Then President Obama (whose family is Kenyan) never even mentioned it. Neither did the major American press, except Fox News.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The claim circulating on social media accompanies a photo showing bodies in a courtyard after al-Shabab militants attacked Garissa University College in Garissa, Kenya, on April 2, 2015, killing 148 people. Former President Barack Obama addressed the killings both in a statement the next day, as well as comments, in which he expressed his condolences.

THE FACTS: The White House released a statement from Obama on April 3, 2015, in which he described his “horror and sadness” over the massacre. The attack was widely covered by the American press, including The Associated Press. The AP reported at the time that Obama, who is of Kenyan descent, called Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to express his condolences.

“Michelle and I join the American people in expressing our horror and sadness at the reports coming out of Garissa, Kenya,” Obama said in his statement. “Words cannot adequately condemn the terrorist atrocities that took place at Garissa University College, where innocent men and women were brazenly and brutally massacred.”

Obama visited Kenya three months later and met with the Kenyan president.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.