AP FACT CHECK: Trump order didn’t lead to IS leader’s arrest

February 8, 2017 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — Stories shared on social media stating that President Donald Trump’s travel ban led to the arrest of an Islamic State group leader at a New York City airport are false. There is no record of a court case involving the person named, and the FBI’s New York office says it didn’t arrest anyone at the airport on the night in question.

There are several versions of the account, detailing the arrest of a man named Rasheed Muhammad early on Jan. 31 at Kennedy Airport. The 32-year-old man was questioned “due to the heightened security measures from the presidential executive order,” according to the account. It says the man was in custody after trying to enter the U.S. on a tourist visa and claimed to be visiting family in order to attend the Super Bowl.


A spokeswoman for the FBI’s New York’s office says its contingent at Kennedy Airport didn’t arrest anyone there on Jan. 31. In addition, a search of the federal court system shows no cases involving a person named Rasheed Muhammad this year.

Several published versions of the story include pictures of other U.S. defendants, including a 2009 image of Najibullah Zazi, who pleaded guilty to planning suicide bombings on the New York City subway system. Another photo is of Sajmir Alimehmeti, who was arrested in New York on charges of trying to support the Islamic State group. Also, a picture of Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammed al-Adnani, who was killed in Syria last year, is included in some versions.

The story was shared by several websites, including usadailypost.us, times.com.mx, newpoliticstoday.com, dailyinfobox.com and usapoliticszone.com.