UN investigator: Trump is peddling 'lies' on Syria-IS link

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (Photo: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. special investigator on counter-terrorism and human rights is accusing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump of peddling "lies and xenophobia" by claiming a link between Syrian refugees and Islamic State extremists.

British human rights lawyer Ben Emmerson told a press conference Friday "there is no evidence that terrorist groups take advantage of refugee flows to carry out acts of terrorism."

He was responding to Trump's statement during Wednesday's debate that Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton is "taking in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who probably, in many cases — not probably — who are definitely, in many cases, ISIS-aligned," using another acronym for Islamic State militants.

Emmerson said he singled out Trump because he thinks the billionaire businessman went further than any other leader in asserting such a link.

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