According to Danios, a shocking 42% of all terrorist acts are committed by Latinos. “Extreme left-wing groups” account for 24%, Jews 7%, and Muslims a mere 6%.
Within hours, the essay made its way to radical Muslim (and Muslim apologist) message boards, with its title changed to “FBI: More Jewish Terrorists Than Muslim Terrorists in USA.”
Yet the bogus essay never achieved viral status, in part because it was, well (there’s just no way to sugar-coat this) idiotic. “Danios’” statistics were taken from an FBI document titled “Terrorism: 2002-2005.” The final page of the report contained a selective summary of terrorist incidents in the U.S. from 1980 through 2005. The report made it abundantly clear that this was not a comprehensive list of ALL terror attacks in the U.S. The FBI’s annual “Terrorism” report is intended to examine only specific non-classified cases, in order to provide the American public with a general overview of how the Bureau deals with terror threats (anyone with even the most cursory knowledge of U.S. terror attacks would know that the selective summary is far from complete, as it omits the 1990 assassination of Meir Kahane, the 1993 mass-shooting outside CIA headquarters by a Muslim terrorist, and the 1997 mass-shooting on the Empire State Building’s observation deck by a Palestinian gunman. The fact that the Kahane assassination is cited in the body of the report but not listed in the summary at the end is a dead giveaway that the closing summary is selective and not complete).
The FBI report begins with two paragraphs which warn readers that it is not intended as a complete catalog of terror incidents. The authors point out that, prior to 2001, the FBI “Terrorism” series was extremely limited in scope:
Since the mid-1980s, the FBI has published “Terrorism in the United States,” an unclassified annual report summarizing terrorist activities in this country. While this publication provided an overview of the terrorist threat in the United States and its territories, its limited scope proved inadequate for conveying either the breadth or width of the terrorist threat facing U.S. interests or the scale of the FBI’s response to terrorism worldwide.
Following 9/11, the series was renamed simply “Terrorism,” and expanded to include discussions of certain overseas cases.
The report’s authors strongly caution readers NOT to take the report as a comprehensive review, redirecting readers to the actual source of complete listings of terrorist incidents:
While the discussion of international terrorism provides a more complete overview of FBI terrorism investigations into acts involving U.S. interests around the world, “Terrorism” is not intended as a comprehensive annual review of worldwide terrorist activity. The chronological incidents, charts, and figures included in Terrorism 2002-2005 reflect only those incidents identified in the “Terrorism”/”Terrorism in the United States” series. For more complete listings of worldwide terrorist incidents, see the Worldwide Incidents Tracking System maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center at http://www.nctc.gov
and the Terrorism Knowledge Base compiled by the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism at http://www.tkb.org
“Danios” not only ignored (or failed to comprehend) these very easy-to-understand warnings, he also lumped together the incidents from 1980 through 2005 as though they were all equally current. “Danios’” claim that Latinos commit the greatest number of terrorist acts in the U.S. comes from his deceitful mixing of modern-day Islamic terror incidents with thirty-year-old crimes committed by long-defunct “Puerto Rican liberation movement” groups back in the early 1980s.
During the1970s and ’80s, Puerto Rican independence groups took up a significant amount of the FBI’s time, and justifiably so. Al-Qaeda was over a decade away from even being conceptualized, and the threat from the new Islamic dictatorship in Iran (and from older dictatorships like Libya) was confined to the Middle East and Europe.
Yet “Danios” mashed thirty years of statistics into one clumsy lump, with no respect for the simple fact that terrorist movements, like political movements, come and go, rise and ebb.
In his essay, “Danios” linked to the FBI report he so badly misused, and, as anyone with the ability to read basic English could see, the report was neither comprehensive nor was the closing summary complete or current. As a result, “Danios’” drivel quickly died on the vine (even far-left sites like Daily Kos and Media Matters didn’t touch it).
Until last week. Sabrina Park, a reporter for the Daily Titan (the student newspaper at Cal State Fullerton), apparently stumbled upon the Danios essay, and decided she had uncovered the scoop of a lifetime. Ms. Park, whose previous “investigative reports” included articles titled “Summer Hot Spot Review” and “Guide to Nightlife in Downtown Fullerton,” titled her explosive article “Only 6 Percent of Terrorists Are Muslim.”
Note the word “are.” It’s repeated endlessly in her article, to imply that the figures she cites are current, not thirty years old. Nor, of course, does Ms. Park ever mention that the FBI figures she cites are not intended to be seen as complete or thorough. But unlike “Danios,” Ms. Park did not link to the FBI report. And by not linking to the source material that would instantaneously discredit her conclusions, Ms. Park has been able to accomplish what “Danios” couldn’t…she’s made the story go viral. By Monday the 20th, her article had been reposted on thousands websites and Facebook pages.
Ms. Park begins her tirade by lambasting those who view Muslim extremist terror as an international scourge (I haven’t fixed her questionable grammar. I’ll also highlight her continued use of the word “are,” which gives the impression that she’s referring to current and not thirty-year-old statistics):
Why people continue to generalize all terrorists as being Muslim is beyond me- perhaps it has to do with their lack of knowledge on the topic and laziness to find out the legitimacy of the claim. It is also possible that since people are so quick to believe what they are told, they are able to easily adopt someone else’s views as their own. I wouldn’t doubt it- I mean; we all know hardly anyone can think for themselves these days anyway.
So, that being said, let’s think for ourselves and do some research: exactly what percent of Muslims are terrorists? Well, according to FBI files, which can be accessed through fbi.gov, only 6 percent of terrorists are Muslim. The remaining percentage of terrorist attacks on U.S. territory includes: Latinos at 42 percent, extreme Left Wing groups at 24 percent, Jewish extremists at 7 percent, Communists at 5 percent, and other terrorist organizations at 16 percent.
It’s like watching a train wreck. Ms. Park’s essay is so terribly juvenile and poorly thought-out that I can only blame her editor for allowing a young would-be journalist to embarrass herself so badly. I wouldn’t even be taking the time to debunk it had it not gone viral.
Ms. Park takes a cursory, incomplete study of selective terrorist acts over thirty years and not only writes as though the thirty-year-old figures are current, but also that they demonstrate “what percent of Muslims are terrorists.” There is nothing in the FBI “Terrorism” report that examines the percentage of Muslims who are involved in terrorism. As the report itself indicates, prior to 9/11, the “Terrorism” series didn’t even mention overseas terror incidents.
Where was this young woman’s editor? It’s inexcusable that he or she allowed this nonsense to be published.
With no concept of how she has misused and distorted the FBI statistics, Ms. Park asks:
If only 6 percent of terrorists are Muslim, then why does the media only cover the attacks by Islamic extremists? It doesn’t make sense and the way it is being portrayed is entirely deceptive and misleading. This leaves me perplexed beyond explanation. How is it that FBI files have record (sic) that Latinos are responsible for the highest percentage of terrorism toward the U.S., yet we still live in constant fear of being attacked by Muslims?
Ms. Park simply doesn’t have the cognitive ability to understand that the Puerto Rican independence movement incidents that the FBI report cites are thirty years old. She honestly believes that there is a plague of Latino terrorism going on in the world today, and the anti-Muslim media is covering it up.
The editors of the Daily Titan should be ashamed of themselves. They allowed a student journalist to humiliate herself and spread inaccuracies and falsehoods.
For the record, the Worldwide Incidents Tracking System maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center at http://www.nctc.gov
– the site recommended by the FBI for thorough, exhaustive terrorism statistics – provides the actual figures (remember – this is the source that is recommended for complete terrorism stats in the FBI report that Ms. Park cites).
From January 1st 2000 through August 31st 2010, the breakdown of ethnic and religiously-motivated global terror acts is:
Christian extremist: 288
Neo-Nazi/white supremacist: 5
This is not a complete list, as the NCTC keeps a separate list of “politically-based” terrorist acts (which includes territorial disputes, even those in which religion plays a factor). In that separate category, 1,065 Palestinian acts of terror are listed, and 2,326 incidents from India (most revolving around the disputed Kashmir territories). We can safely add the Palestinian acts to the Muslim list. In India, although Muslim terror has taken a horrible toll (as evidenced by the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which Muslim terrorists murdered 173 people), there are Hindu extremist groups as well. Considering that India is a Hindu-majority nation, let’s be generous and consign two-thirds of the India terror acts to Hindus, and one-third to Muslims (not a scientific method, but, frankly, we could relegate 100% of the Indian terror attacks to Hindus and it still wouldn’t make the total figure of Muslim acts any less lopsidedly huge).
With the new calculations, we get:
18,010 Muslim terror attacks
1,553 Hindu terror attacks
542 tribal/clan/ethnic terror attacks
288 Christian terror attacks
52 Jewish terror attacks
5 neo-Nazi/white supremacist terror attacks
If “Danios” and Sabrina Park had bothered to actually read the FBI report they misrepresented, and if they had cared enough to consult the statistics that the report itself cites as comprehensive and complete, they would have discovered that if you add up every Hindu, Christian, Jewish, white supremacist, tribal, and unclassified terror attack over the past ten years, they amount to a mere 13.5% of the number of terror attacks perpetrated by Muslims.
That’s the truth, ready to “pull its boots on” and play catch-up to Sabrina Park’s fabrications.
Originally posted on September 20, 2010http://www.countercontempt.com/archives/156