Thursday, September 28, 2017

US :Fake US Muslim Facebook group traced back to Russia

(Washington)  A Russian-operated fake Facebook page that had 268,000 followers made dubious claims during the 2016 election under the guise of an already established Muslim group in the US in which to shit stir.

The group, United Muslims of America, posted content that said Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton “created, funded and armed” al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group. It also said that Senator John McCain helped found IS, and that Osama bin-Laden was in cahoots with the CIA, according to the report. Even though much of the Facebook page's content largely posted positive memes of Muslims, it sometimes veered into fake news such as "Support Hillary. Save American Muslims", after conflicted gay Muslim killed 49 people in an Orlando nightclub.

The Daily Beast which broke this story states that the Kremlin-backed internet trolls created a fake Facebook group called “United Muslims of America” and then used it to stir the proverbial pot for months. While the Russians’ use of imposter accounts is well noted, this is one of the first known instances where they impersonated an actual organization.

The real UMA is a California-based non-profit that promotes interfaith dialogue and political participation. Though it’s over 30 years old, it’s currently “not functional,” according to its most recent president, and is in the midst of an organizational rebuild. In the past, the group hosted events with numerous members of Congress, including Democrats Andre Carson and Swalwell, both of whom serve on the House intelligence committee investigating Trump-Russia ties, and Republican Ed Royce, the chairman of the House foreign affairs committee.