A man who tried to breach the security ring at a rally held by US Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump was accused by Trump of having links to ISIS.
The event, which was held in Ohio, experienced brief chaos after the man rushed security at the event, causing US Secret Service agents to form a ring around Trump.
“USSS did an excellent job stopping the maniac running to the stage. He has ties to ISIS. Should be in jail!” tweeted Donald Trump, sharing a video that appears to show ‘ISIS’ music playing on a video featuring the man who was later identified by police as Tommy DiMassimo.
USSS did an excellent job stopping the maniac running to the stage. He has ties to ISIS. Should be in jail! https://t.co/tkzbHg7wyD?ssr=true
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2016
“This was a guy that was looking to do harm. It was probably ISIS or ISIS-related, can you believe it?” said Trump later in the day at another event, adding that “my people” found the video on the internet.
However, it appears the video was edited to include the Arabic text, ISIS flag and music. The original video uploaded by DiMassimo on YouTube is titled #NotMyFlag and covers a “protest to stand in solidarity with the symbolic actions of Eric Sheppard”. Sheppard is an activist who protested racism in America by standing on the American flag.
According to local media reports, DiMassimo is actually a Black Lives Matter activist and a college student at Wright University in Dayton, Ohio. There are, so far, no links to ISIS beyond the video shared on Twitter and Trump’s accusations.
The incident comes days after Trump declared that he thinks “Islam hates us”, adding that there’s “tremendous hatred there”.
Trump made international headlines in 2015 when he declared that he would implement a “total and complete” bar on all Muslims entering the United States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.