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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.
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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

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