Lies, Damn Lies, and Islamic Terrorism Statistics

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Lies, Damn Lies, and Islamic Terrorism Statistics

In case you haven’t noticed, there is an orchestrated campaign underway to convince Americans that the threat of Islamic terrorism is wildly overstated. And every so often, the purveyors of that lie will cite a study that ostensibly proves the claim to be true[…]


This is from The America Thinker and after reading you should be able to see the pure propaganda that the Main Stream Media is trying to dish out to convince you that the right is the problem.  Why do they do this?  I can’t figure it out.  Read on.

Take this recent example, a Twitter tease from the Cato Institute:

“Far right extremist groups were responsible for 73% of deadly terrorist incidents since September 11, 2001.”

It’s pretty hard to miss the intended message, as it’s pretty broad and suggestive. But it’s also incredibly dishonest.

First of all, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) study that Cato cites in the article addresses only domestic acts of terrorism. Cato neglects to mention in the tease that the statistic is relevant to domestic terror attacks only, opting instead to misleadingly make a blanket statement which suggests that global terrorism data has been considered to reach its conclusion. And, given the Iron Cross flags in abundance (which is not an archetypical symbol of American white supremacists), these certainly would appear to be European white supremacists in the picture.

It’s simple but sly propagandistic deception. The tease and the image suggest to casual readers that the statistic addresses the global issue of terrorism. But if global terrorism data were actually considered, the data would very clearly suggest a wildly different conclusion than the one in the Cato tease, to say the least.

Consider that, as The Economist reported in late 2015, there were 32,700 people killed in global terrorist attacks in 2014. The deadliest five terrorist groups responsible were the Islamic State, Boko Haram, the Taliban, al-Shabaab, and Fulani militants. These five groups, all of which are Islamic extremist groups, were responsible for well more than half of those deaths.Lies, Damn Lies, and Islamic Terrorism Statistics

Secondly, upon closer inspection, we find that not only is the data used in the GAO report extremely selective, but it’s none too pure, either.

You see, the Cato tease focuses on the number of deadly domestic terror “incidents” as compiled by the U.S. Extremist Crime Database (ECDB), and not the number of victims. It’s a curious means of approaching the impact of terrorism. After all, which is more important; the number of shots fired in a shootout, or the number of people struck by bullets?

We can assume Cato didn’t tease the article using the number killed by Islamic versus right-wing terrorists in America (the binary focus of the GAO study) because the conclusion drawn by readers might be a little different. Despite the wide discrepancy claimed in the number of incidents, Islamic extremists are still responsible for 53% (119 of 225) of deaths since, but not including, 9/11.

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