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PolitiFact parses statements on terrorism by Clinton, Trump


With just a few days left before Tuesday’s election, PolitiFact Georgia is looking at how Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump have fared on fact-checks about major issues in the race for president of the United States.

Here are their recent statements on terrorism.

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 in a speech at Stanford University:

When it comes to fighting terrorism, “Another thing we know that does not work, based on lots of empirical evidence, is torture.”

The vast majority of evidence shows the intelligence interrogators will get from a detainee can typically be extracted without using torture. When torture is used, the “information” acquired is likely to be fictional — those being tortured will say anything to make the punishment stop.

Ethical issues aside, experts say it doesn’t work because it is inefficient and can be counterproductive.

We rated Clinton’s claim True.

Donald Trump on Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 in a presidential debate:

“ISIS is in 32 countries.”

Context is key here. If lone wolf attacks by ISIS wannabes or people following attack propaganda are included, Trump’s number is a little low.

But if you look at countries where ISIS has a sizable, established presence, Trump’s number is too high. The Congressional Research Service puts the number at nine.

We rated Trump’s claim Half True.

Donald Trump on Sunday, October 9th, 2016 in the second 2016 presidential debate said:

Libya “Ambassador (Christopher) Stevens sent 600 requests for help” in Benghazi.

There were many requests for security improvements at the compound in Benghazi, but Trump goes way over the line, citing a graph that includes a period when Stevens wasn’t even the ambassador and doesn’t differentiate between actual requests for added security and follow-up correspondence.

According to that data, the highest the number of requests could be is 205. It’s also unclear which requests were sent by Stevens.

We rated Trump’s statement Mostly False.

Donald Trump on Monday, September 19th, 2016 in an interview on Fox News:

Says Israel profiles based on ethnicity and “does it very successfully.”

Israel takes ethnicity into consideration in their security screenings, but it also takes many other clues into consideration. While Israel is successful at deterring terrorism, profiling is not the sole reason. The country’s robust security apparatus and vigilant population are just as, if not more, key its safety.

We rated Trump’s claim Half True.

Hillary Clinton on Sunday, October 9th, 2016 in the second 2016 presidential debate:

“You can look at the propaganda on a lot of the terrorists’ sites and what Donald Trump says about Muslims is used to recruit fighters.”

It’s difficult to determine how effective the videos are, but at least one has featured Trump’s words. An East African affiliate of the al-Qaida has used a clip of Trump in one of its videos. It says “Muslims of the West” are not welcome in countries like the U.S. and urges them to join the terrorist group, according to multiple news reports.

We rated Clinton’s statement True.

Donald Trump on Sunday, October 9th, 2016 in the second presidential debate:

“These are radical Islamic terrorists, and (Hillary Clinton) won’t even mention the word.”

Following the Orlando nightclub shooting, Clinton said she had no problem saying “radical Islamism” which is similar but not the same as “radical Islamic terrorism.”

She has also called on leaders to not demonize the Islamic religion, and said the U.S. needs specific policies to defeat ISIS.

We rated Trump’s claim Mostly False.

Hillary Clinton on Monday, June 13th, 2016 in a speech after a terrorist attack in Orlando:

“Hate crimes against American Muslims and mosques have tripled after Paris and San Bernardino.”

Research by the director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino show the number did triple after those attacks. However, this data does not show whether the number of attacks stayed at that elevated level, or for how long.

The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.

We rated Clinton’s statement Mostly True.

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