Right-wing US backlash to latest IS arrests

Right-wing US backlash to latest IS arrests
The arrest of two men on suspicion of having links to the Islamic State group has sparked a right-wing backlash in the United States.
2 min read
08 Jan, 2016
Anti-Muslim protests have taken place outside mosques in the US [Getty]

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has criticised US President Barack Obama's decision to accept Syrian and Iraqi refugees after a two men allegedly from the Middle East were arrested on suspicion of having links to the Islamic State group.

Omar Faraj Saeed al-Hardan a Palestinian born in Iraq - where IS controls territory - and faces charges of supplying support to the group and lying to US officials.

Hardan was arrested in Texas while another "Middle Eastern" man was held on terrorism-related charges in California, Reuters reported.

Although neither men was said to be a threat to the US, but this has not stopped Americans from using the cases as an example of the "dangers" of accepting refugees from the Middle East.

"This is precisely why I called for a halt to refugees entering the US from countries substantially controlled by terrorists," said Abbott.

"I once again urge the president to hold the resettlement of these refugees in the United States until there is an effective vetting process that will ensure… the safety of Americans." 

Abbott's comments highlight growing fears in sections of US society about accepting refugees from Muslim-majority countries - particularly war-torn Syria and Iraq, where a number of extremist groups operate.

Anti-refugee sentiments are most popular among the right of the US politics.

Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump recently called for a ban on Muslims from entering the US.

Such extreme views are not isolated cases and are thought to be widely-held across the US.

Evidence of this is the response on social media from Ameicans to the two cases.
"Actual ISIS [IS] Fighter Arrested in Sacramento" was the headline of one article from a website of questionable integrity.

The story was widely shared on social media despite both investigations still being in the early stages.

But this has not stopped Americans using the arrests to support Trump's extreme rhetoric against Muslims and refugees.