Feb 08, 2017

Trump’s terrorism claim is baloney, CNN.com

Trump's terrorism claim is baloney Peter Bergen By Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst Updated 1:36 PM ET, Tue February 7, 2017 Source: CNN Cooper: I know we covered attacks; I was there 02:03 Story highlights Peter Bergen ran White House timeline of terrorist attacks through media database Bergen found the 78 cited as under-covered were the subject of 80,000-plus articles Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a vice president at New America and a professor of practice at Arizona State University. He is the author of "United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists." (CNN)First, there was the "Bowling Green massacre" that wasn't. Now comes President Donald Trump's claim Monday at the key US military base overseeing the war on ISIS -- US Central Command in Tampa, Florida -- that the media aren't reporting terrorism for "reasons" the President didn't elaborate upon. Trump told the CENTCOM audience, "You've seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe, it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that." To "prove" that the media aren't covering terrorism adequately the Trump White House, which is fighting in court to reinstate a refugee ban citing the terrorist threat, on Monday night released a list of 78 "major" terrorist attacks since September 2014, claiming, "Most have not received the media attention they deserved." This is one of the biggest baloney sandwiches this White House has foisted on the public since ... well ... the "Bowling Green massacre," but it's a much bigger and harder-to swallow helping of baloney because it is the President who is forcing it down our throats rather than one of his aides. Donald Trump, the arsonist-in-chief? Donald Trump, the arsonist-in-chief? (opinion) Taking the White House timeline of terrorist attacks, I ran it through the Nexis database, which is an authoritative resource for tracking media hits of all types, including in newspapers, magazines, wire service reports, TV news shows and the like. The results show that terrorist attacks over the past couple of years are, in fact, some of the most well-reported stories of our times. The total number of media hits for the 78 terrorist attacks that the White House released Monday is 80,878, or about an average of slightly more than 1,000 mentions per incident. And those numbers clearly understate how much coverage the media have given these incidents because a Nexis search only will display a maximum of 3,000 mentions for any given search. There are 16 terrorist attacks on the White House list of purportedly under-covered attacks that each elicited more than 3,000 media mentions. The following are a representative sample: • In Ottawa in October 2014 Michael Zehaf-Bibeau killed a Canadian soldier. • Two months later in Sydney, Man Haron Monis killed two Australians. • In March 2015, 21 tourists were killed at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia. • Two months later in Garland, Texas, two ISIS-inspired militants attacked a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest. Luckily no one was killed except the terrorists. • In Tunisia, also in 2015, 38 were killed at a beach popular with Westerners. • In October 2015, 224 were killed in Sinai, Egypt, when ISIS brought down a Russian passenger jet with a bomb. The terror attacks in Paris and Nice, France, that Trump cited in his CENTCOM speech also received more than 3,000 media mentions. The terrorist attacks that didn't get as much coverage were -- surprise --- the ones where there were no deaths or that took place in countries such as Saudi Arabia or Bangladesh where there is little independent media reporting. In three cases, there were no articles listed in the publications included in the Nexis database, and in each of those cases there were no casualties. The media, including CNN, have exhaustively covered terrorism around the globe since the 9/11 attacks made the issue a central national security concern. Indeed, the wall-to-wall media coverage of the ISIS attacks in Paris in November 2015 in which 129 were killed and the ISIS-inspired attack in San Bernardino, California, a month later in which 14 were killed was instrumental in boosting Trump in the polls, according to the polling analysis site FiveThirtyEight Many Americans felt threatened by the ISIS-directed and ISIS-inspired attacks. As the presidential campaign was in full swing at the beginning of 2016, just over half of Americans said they were very or somewhat worried that they, or a member of their family, would be victims of a terrorist attack. This was the largest number to feel that way since just after the 9/11 attacks. And how did so many Americans learn about the terrorist attacks they were so scared of? Here's a clue: It wasn't through telepathy. Below is the official White House timeline of terrorist attacks since September 2014 with my annotations in bold about the media coverage they each received. (There are a number of incorrectly spelled words I have left as they were in the original.) TIMELINE: September, 2014 - December, 2016 NUMBER OF ATTACKS: 78 MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA September, 2014 TARGET: Two police officers wounded in knife attack ATTACKER: Abdul Numan Haider 406 stories TIZI OUZOU, ALGERIA September, 2014 TARGET: One French citizen beheaded ATTACKER: Jund al-Khilafah in Algeria 140 stories QUEBEC, CANADA October, 2014 TARGET: One soldier killed and one wounded in vehicle attack ATTACKER: Martin Couture-Rouleau 1,509 stories OTTAWA, CANADA October, 2014 TARGET: One soldier killed at war memorial; two wounded in shootings at Parliament building ATTACKER: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau More than 3,000 stories NEW YORK CITY, NY, USA October, 2014 TARGET: Two police officers wounded in knife attack ATTACKER: US person 477 stories RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA November, 2014 TARGET: One Danish citizen wounded in shooting ATTACKERS: Three Saudi Arabia-based ISIL members 10 stories ABU DHABI, UAE DATE: December 2014 TARGET: One American killed in knife attack ATTACKER: Dalal al-Hashimi 24 stories SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA December, 2014 TARGET: Two Australians killed in hostage taking and shooting ATTACKER: Man Haron Monis More than 3,000 stories TOURS, FRANCE December, 2014 TARGET: Three police officers wounded in knife attack ATTACKER: Bertrand Nzohabonayo 91 stories PARIS, FRANCE January, 2015 TARGET: One police officer and four hostages killed in shooting at a kosher supermarket ATTACKER: Amedy Coulibaly More than 3,000 stories TRIPOLI, LIBYA January, 2015 TARGET: Ten killed, including one US citizen, and five wounded in bombing and shooting at a hotel frequented by westerners ATTACKERS: As many as five ISIL-Libya members 837 stories RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA January, 2015 TARGET: Two US citizens wounded in shooting ATTACKER: Saudi Arabia-based ISIL supporter 5 stories NICE, FRANCE February, 2015 TARGET: Two French soldiers wounded in knife attack outside a Jewish community center ATTACKER: Moussa Coulibaly 268 stories COPENHAGEN, DENMARK February, 2015 TARGET: One civilian killed in shooting at a free-speech rally and one security guard killed outside the city's main synagogue ATTACKER: Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein 535 stories TUNIS, TUNISIA March, 2015 TARGET: 21 tourists killed, including 16 westerners, and 55 wounded in shooting at the Bardo Museum ATTACKERS: Two ISIL-aligned extremists More than 3,000 stories KARACHI, PAKISTAN April, 2015 TARGET: One US citizen wounded in knife attack ATTACKERS: Pakistan-based ISIL supporters 375 stories PARIS, FRANCE April, 2015 TARGET: Catholic churches targeted; one civilian killed in shooting, possibly during an attempted carjacking ATTACKER: Sid Ahmed Ghlam 612 stories ZVORNIK, BOSNIA April, 2015 TARGET: One police officer killed and two wounded in shooting ATTACKER: Nerdin Ibric 61 stories GARLAND, TX, USA May, 2015 TARGET: One security guard wounded in shooting at the Prophet Muhammad cartoon event ATTACKERS: Two US persons More than 3,000 stories BOSTON, MA, USA June, 2015 TARGET: No casualties; one police officer attacked with knife ATTACKER: US person 627 stories EL GORA (AL JURAH), EGYPT June, 2015 TARGET: No casualties; camp used by Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) troops attacked in shooting and bombing attack ATTACKERS: Unknown number of ISIL-Sinai members 0 stories LUXOR, EGYPT June, 2015 TARGET: One police officer killed by suicide bomb near the Temple of Karnak ATTACKER: Unidentified 101 Stories SOUSSE, TUNISIA June, 2015 TARGET: 38 killed and 39 wounded in shooting at a beach frequented by westerners ATTACKERS: Seifeddine Rezgui and another unidentified attacker More than 3,000 stories LYON, FRANCE June, 2015 TARGET: One civilian killed in beheading and explosion at a chemical plant ATTACKER: Yasin Salhi 188 stories CAIRO, EGYPT July, 2015 TARGET: One killed and nine wounded in VBIED attack at Italian Consulate ATTACKER: Unidentified ISIL operatives 1,085 stories CAIRO, EGYPT July, 2015 TARGET: One Croatian national kidnapped; beheaded on August 12 at an unknown location ATTACKER: Unidentified ISIL-Sinai operative 466 stories PARIS, FRANCE August, 2015 TARGET: Two civilians and one US soldier wounded with firearms and knife on a passenger train ATTACKER: Ayoub el-Khazzani 2,484 stories EL GORA, EGYPT September, 2015 TARGET: Four US and two MFO troops wounded in IED attack ATTACKER: Unidentified 5 stories DHAKA, BANGLADESH September, 2015 TARGET: One Italian civilian killed in shooting ATTACKER: Unidentified 788 stories COPENHAGEN, DENMARK September, 2015 TARGET: One police officer wounded in knife attack ATTAKER: Palestinian national 130 stories EL GORA, EGYPT October, 2015 TARGET: No casualties; airfield used by MFO attacked with rockets ATTAKER: Unidentified ISIL-Sinai operatives 0 stories PARRAMATTA, AUSTRALIA October, 2015 TARGET: One police officer killed in shooting ATTAKER: Farhad Jabar 1,826 stories RANGPUR, BANGLADESH October, 2015 TARGET: One Japanese civilian killed in shooting ATTAKER: Unidentified 471 stories HASANAH, EGYPT October, 2015 TARGET: 224 killed in downing of a Russian airliner ATTAKER: Unidentified ISIL-Sinai operatives More than 3,000 stories MERCED, CA, US November, 2015 TARGET: Four wounded in knife attack on a college campus ATTAKER: US person 163 stories PARIS, FRANCE November, 2015 TARGET: At least 129 killed and approximately 400 wounded in series of shootings and IED attacks ATTAKERS: Brahim Abdelslam, Saleh Abdeslam, Ismail Mostefai, Bilal Hadfi, Samy Amimour, Chakib Ahrouh, Foued Mohamed Aggad, and Abdelhamid Abaaoud More than 3.000 stories DINAJPUR, BANGLADESH November, 2015 TARGET: One Italian citizen wounded in shooting ATTAKER: Unidentified 203 stories RAJLOVAC, BOSNIA December, 2015 TARGET: Two Bosnian soldiers killed in shooting ATTAKER: Enes Omeragic 42 stories SAN BERNADINO, CA December, 2015 TARGET: 14 killed and 21 wounded in coordinated firearms attack ATTAKERS: Two US persons More than 3,000 stories LONDON, ENGLAND, UK December, 2015 TARGET: Three wounded in knife attack at an underground rail station ATTAKER: Muhyadin Mire 44 stories DERBENT, RUSSIA December, 2015 TARGET: One killed and 11 wounded in shooting at UN World Heritage site ATTAKER: Unidentified ISIL-Caucasus operative 286 stories CAIRO, EGYPT January, 2016 TARGET: Two wounded in drive-by shooting outside a hotel frequented by tourists ATTAKERS: Unidentified ISIL operatives 5 stories PARIS, FRANCE January, 2016 TARGET: No casualties; attacker killed after attempted knife attack on Paris police station ATTAKER: Tarek Belgacem 97 stories PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA January, 2016 TARGET: One police officer wounded in shooting ATTAKER: US person 321 stories HURGHADA, EGYPT January, 2016 TARGET: One German and one Danish national wounded in knife attack at a tourist resort ATTAKER: Unidentified 5 stories MARSEILLES, FRANCE January, 2016 TARGET: One Jewish teacher wounded in machete attack ATTAKER: 15 year-old Ethnic Kurd from Turkey 184 stories ISTANBUL, TURKEY January, 2016 TARGET: 12 German tourists killed and 15 wounded in suicide bombing ATTAKER: Nabil Fadli More than 3,000 stories JAKARTA, INDONESIA January, 2016 TARGET: Four civilians killed and more than 20 wounded in coordinated bombing and firearms attacks near a police station and a Starbucks ATTAKERS: Dian Joni Kurnaiadi, Muhammad Ali, Arif Sunakim, and Ahmad Muhazan bin Saron 2,530 stories COLUMBUS, OH, US February, 2016 TARGET: Four civilians wounded in machete attack at a restaurant ATTAKER: US person 108 stories HANOVER, GERMANY February, 2016 TARGET: One police officer wounded in knife attack ATTAKER: Safia Schmitter 60 stories ISTANBUL, TURKEY March, 2016 TARGET: Four killed and 36 wounded in suicide bombing in the tourist district ATTAKER: Mehmet Ozturk 306 stories BRUSSELS, BELGIUM March, 2016 TARGET: At least 31 killed and 270 wounded in coordinated bombings at Zaventem Airport and on a subway train ATTAKERS: Khalid el-Bakraoui, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, Najim Laachraoui, Mohammed Abrini, and Osama Krayem More than 3,000 stories ESSEN, GERMANY April, 2016 TARGET: Three wounded in bombing at Sikh temple ATTAKERS: Three identified minors 197 stories ORLANDO, FL, US June, 2016 TARGET: 49 killed and 53 wounded in shooting at a nightclub ATTAKER: US person More than 3,000 stories MAGNANVILLE, FRANCE June, 2016 TARGET: One police officer and one civilian killed in knife attack ATTAKER: Larossi Abballa 1,124 stories KABUL, AFGHANISTAN June, 2016 TARGET: 14 killed in suicide attack on a bus carrying Canadian Embassy guards ATTAKER: ISIL-Khorasan operative 1,404 stories ISTANBUL, TURKEY June, 2016 TARGET: 45 killed and approximately 240 wounded at Ataturk International Airport ATTACKERS: Rakhim Bulgarov, Vadim Osmanov, and an unidentified ISIL operative More than 3,000 stories DHAKA, BANGLADESH July, 2016 TARGET: 22 killed, including one American and 50 wounded after hours-long siege using machetes and firearms at holy Artisan Bakery ATTACKERS: Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz, Meer Saameh Mubasheer, Khairul Islam Paye, and Shafiqul Islam Uzzal More than 3,000 stories NICE, FRANCE July, 2016 TARGET: 84 civilians killed and 308 wounded by an individual who drove a truck into a crowd ATTACKER: Mohamed Bouhlel More than 3,000 stories WURZBURG, GERMANY July, 2016 TARGET: Four civilians wounded in axe attack on a train ATTACKER: Riaz Khan Ahmadzai 283 stories ANSBACH, GERMANY July, 2016 TARGET: At least 15 wounded in suicide bombing at a music festival ATTACKER: Mohammad Daleel 300 stories NORMANDY, FRANCE July, 2016 TARGET: One priest killed in knife attack ATTACKERS: Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean 1,637 stories CHALEROI, BELGIUM August, 2016 TARGET: Two police officers wounded in machete attack ATTACKER: Khaled Babouri 10 stories QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA August, 2016 TARGET: Two killed and one wounded in knife attack at a hostel frequented by Westerners ATTACKER: Smail Ayad 852 stories COPENHAGEN, DENMAKR September, 2016 TARGET: Two police officers and a civilian wounded in shooting ATTACKER: Mesa Hodzic 43 stories PARIS, FRANCE September, 2016 TARGET: One police officer wounded in raid after VBIED failed to detonate at Notre Dame Cathedral ATTACKERS: Sarah Hervouet, Ines Madani, and Amel Sakaou 21 stories SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA September, 2016 TARGET: One civilian wounded in knife attack ATTACKER: Ihsas Khan 269 stories ST. CLOUD, MN, US September, 2016 TARGET: 10 wounded in knife attack in a mall ATTACKER: Dahir Ahmed Adan 241 stories NEW YORK, NY; SEASIDE PARK AND ELIZABETH, NJ, US September, 2016 TARGET: 31 wounded in bombing in New York City; several explosive devices found in New York and New Jersey; one exploded without casualty at race in New Jersey; one police officer wounded in shootout ATTACKER: Ahmad Khan Rahami More than 3,000 stories BRUSSELS, BELGIUM October, 2016 TARGET: Two police officers wounded in stabbing ATTACKER: Belgian national 31 stories KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT TARGET: No casualties; vehicle carrying three US soldiers hit by a truck ATTACKER: Ibrahim Sulayman 0 stories MALMO, SWEDEN October, 2016 TARGET: No casualties; mosque and community center attacked with Molotov cocktail ATTACKER: Syrian national 26 stories HAMBURG, GERMANY October, 2016 TARGET: One killed in knife attack ATTACKER: Unknown 516 stories MANILA, PHILIPPINES November, 2016 TARGET: No casualties; failed IED attempt near US Embassy ATTACKERS: Philippine nationals aligned with the Maute group 1 story COLUMBUS, OH, US November, 2016 TARGET: 14 wounded by individuals who drove a vehicle into a group of pedestrians and attacked them with a knife ATTACKER: US person More than 3,000 stories N'DJAMENA, CHAD November, 2016 TARGET: No casualties; attacker arrested after opening fire at entrance of US Embassy ATTACKER: Chadian national 11 stories KARAK, JORDAN December, 2016 TARGET: 10 killed and 28 wounded in shooting at a tourist site ATTACKERS: Several gunmen 2,037 stories BERLIN, GERMANY December, 2016 TARGET: 12 killed and 48 wounded by individual who drove truck into a crowded market ATTACKER: Anis Amri More than 3,000 stories