Archive for Europol

New York Times Article Understates How Overstated Islamic Terrorism Threat Really Is

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2012 by loonwatch

The New York Times recently reported on a study that showed how exaggerated the threat of “Islamic” terrorism is–how “Radical Muslim Americans Pose Little Threat.”  The article is a good one, but in fact, it doesn’t adequately convey how truly minuscule the threat is.  I’ll reproduce the article below and then briefly recount why Americans (and Europeans) shouldn’t fear Islamic terrorism at all:

Radical U.S. Muslims Little Threat, Study Says

WASHINGTON — A feared wave of homegrown terrorism by radicalized Muslim Americans has not materialized, with plots and arrests dropping sharply over the two years since an unusual peak in 2009, according to a new study by a North Carolina research group.

The study, to be released on Wednesday, found that 20 Muslim Americans were charged in violent plots or attacks in 2011, down from 26 in 2010 and a spike of 47 in 2009.

Charles Kurzman, the author of the report for the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, called terrorism by Muslim Americans “a minuscule threat to public safety.” Of about 14,000 murders in the United States last year, not a single one resulted from Islamic extremism, said Mr. Kurzman, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina.

The report also found that no single ethnic group predominated among Muslims charged in terrorism cases last year — six were of Arab ancestry, five were white, three were African-American and two were Iranian, Mr. Kurzman said. That pattern of ethnic diversity has held for those arrested since Sept. 11, 2001, he said.

Forty percent of those charged in 2011 were converts to Islam, Mr. Kurzman found, slightly higher than the 35 percent of those charged since the 2001 attacks. His new report is based on the continuation of research he conducted for a book he published last year, “The Missing Martyrs: Why There Are So Few Muslim Terrorists.”

The decline in cases since 2009 has come as a relief to law enforcement and counterterrorism officials. In that year, the authorities were surprised by a series of terrorist plots or attacks, including the killing of 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., by an Army psychiatrist who had embraced radical Islam, Maj. Nidal Hasan.

The upsurge in domestic plots two years ago prompted some scholars of violent extremism to question the conventional wisdom that Muslims in the United States, with higher levels of education and income than the average American, were not susceptible to the message of Al Qaeda.

Concerns grew after the May 2010 arrest of Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen, for trying to blow up a sport utility vehicle in Times Square. Mr. Shahzad had worked as a financial analyst and seemed thoroughly assimilated. In a dramatic courtroom speech after pleading guilty, he blamed American military action in Muslim countries for his militancy.

The string of cases fueled wide and often contentious discussion of the danger of radicalization among American Muslims, including Congressional hearings led by Representative Peter T. King, a Long Island Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

But the number of cases declined, returning to the rough average of about 20 Muslim Americans accused of extremist violence per year that has prevailed since the 2001 attacks, with 193 people in that category over the decade. By Mr. Kurzman’s count, 462 other Muslim Americans have been charged since 2001 for nonviolent crimes in support of terrorism, including financing and making false statements.

The 2011 cases include just one actual series of attacks, which caused no injuries, involving rifle shots fired late at night at military buildings in Northern Virginia. A former Marine Corps reservist, Yonathan Melaku, pleaded guilty in the case last month in an agreement that calls for a 25-year prison sentence.

Other plots unearthed by law enforcement last year and listed in Mr. Kurzman’s report included a suspected Iranian plan to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, a scheme to attack a Shiite mosque in Michigan and another to blow up synagogues, churches and the Empire State Building.

“Fortunately, very few of these people are competent and very few get to the stage of preparing an attack without coming to the attention of the authorities,” Mr. Kurzman said.

Here are some key points that the article could have included to have truly conveyed how absolutely minuscule the threat of Islamic terrorism is to Americans (and Europeans):

1.  According to the FBI’s own database (available from 1980-2005), less than 6% of terrorist attacks in America were committed by Muslims.

2.  Europol has been documenting terrorism for the last half decade.  Their annual terrorism reports show that less than 1% of terrorism in Europe involves Muslims.

3.  Since 9/11–which was over a decade ago–zero U.S. civilians have been killed by Islamic terrorists.

4.  Similarly, zero European civilians have been killed by Islamic terrorists in the last half decade.  In fact, the only injuries incurred from Islamic terrorism were to a security guard who “was slightly wounded.”  Perhaps the “anti-jihadist” blogosphere should find this one security guard and give him a medal of honor and declare him a martyr for the cause.

Putting this into perspective, you as an American have a much greater chance of being struck or even killed by lightning than being killed by an Islamic terrorist.  Using conservative estimates, at least 300 Americans are struck by lightning every year, and of them, 67 die–way higher than the whopping zero Americans that die every year from Islamic terrorists.

Another way to think of this is that you as an American have a much higher chance of dying from a peanut than an Islamic terrorist: at least 120 Americans die from an allergic reaction to peanuts every year.  Should we wage a War on Peanuts?

The NYT article also fails to mention that many of those people arrested on charges of Islamic terrorism were in fact goaded into terrorism by the FBI, which has a habit of using entrapment as a means to orchestrate–and then foil–its own terrorist plots.  (See Glenn Greenwald’s article: The FBI Thwarts Its Own Terrorist Plot.)  That could explain why the number of arrests for Islamic terrorism do not match up with actual attacks and casualties.

Dr. Charles Kurzman is quoted in the article as saying of the would-be Islamic terrorists: “Fortunately, very few of these people are competent and very few get to the stage of preparing an attack without coming to the attention of the authorities.”  But, it’s not just that they happen to come to the attention of the authorities in the nick of time: it’s the fact that the authorities are the ones who fed them the idea of being terrorists in the first place.  That’s why so “few get to the stage of preparing an attack,” since they are being monitored even before the thought comes to their mind.

Even more worrisome is the fact that the vast majority of Muslims arrested on terrorism-related offenses have been accused of, as the article says, “non-violent crimes in support of terrorism, including financing and making false statements.”  Many of these arrests have been widely criticized by civil rights groups because six-degrees of association are used to incriminate American Muslims.

One other interesting aside: the NYT article mentions the Fort Hood Shooting, which was labeled as an act of Terrorism.  The shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and the Army’s prosecutor is seeking the death penalty.  Hasan’s victims were all soldiers (aside from one, who was part of the U.S. Army Reserves).

Meanwhile, Staff Sargent Frank Wuterich was responsible for butchering 24 Iraqi civilians in what is called the Haditha Massacre: under his command, American soldiers systematically exterminated Muslim civilians, killing them execution-style.  This has been corroborated by eyewitness account, forensic and photographic evidence.  Yet, not only did the Army prosecutor not seek the death penalty for this war crime, but instead charged him with “involuntary manslaughter” and sought a maximum penalty of 90 days in the brig.  Even this Lindsay Lohan-style punishment was dropped in a plea bargain, with Wuterich let off with zero jail time and just a pay cut and demotion.  He didn’t even get fired.  Imagine walking into your job and shooting another employee and not getting fired!

Eight U.S. soldiers were charged for the Haditha Massacre.  Charges were dropped for six of them, and the seventh was acquitted.  Only one, Frank Wuterich, was held to account and all he got was a slap on the wrist: a pay cut and demotion.  Meanwhile, when it comes to acts of Islamic terrorism, it’s not just the perpetrators who are sought out and punished, but rather, their financiers, their supposed financiers, those who “harbored” them, those who made “false statements”, those who even gave them a pair of socks to wear or ponchos and raincoats to use, etc. etc.  Whole religions, nations, and civilizations are blamed for such acts.  Countries are bombed because they are held to be responsible.  But, the United States government could not find any responsibility or guilt in the men who actually held guns in their hands as they blasted a couple dozen Iraqi civilians–men, women, and children–to death.

Haditha Massacre

Imagine the comparison between these two men: Hasan is a Muslim and is therefore a Terrorist, even though he only acted against soldiers.  Meanwhile, nobody in the media (or anywhere for that matter) has called Wuterich a Terrorist, even though he slaughtered civilians.  Wuterich committed this act of terrorism ”negligent dereliction of duty” (that’s the euphemism we use to refer to the butchering of 24 Muslim civilians) as a retaliation for the killing of an American soldier (a soldier who was on Iraqi soil and part of an occupying force) by an IED.  If Hasan had killed 24 American civilians in Meriden, Connecticut (Wuterich’s home city) in retaliation for the death of a Muslim civilian from a U.S. drone strike, would anybody be calling this anything other than Terrorism?  Had that been the case, the right-wing and the media would be on a continuous spin cycle talking about how Evil and Dangerous those Moozlums are.   Muslims would be bending over backwards issuing apology after apology and uttering the mandatory serial condemnations of Terrorism.

A friend emailed me a comment made on Facebook by someone in the U.S. military, who said (in defense of Frank Wuterich):

Is it hard for me to believe that a human being lost his mind at the sight of the man fighting to his left being blown to pieces? No. It absolutely is not.

Why is it then so hard for you to believe that a human being lost his mind at the sight of seeing his entire family, neighborhood, village, and country being blown to bits by Americans (or Israelis)?  That he would then want to retaliate by killing Americans (or Israelis) just as Wuterich took his vengeance out on Iraqi civilians?  Palestinians have had their entire villages wiped off the face of the earth, yet I do not think this person (or the average American) would be so forgiving when that Palestinian would then take it out on Israelis.

Nidal Hasan, a Muslim, killed 13 soldiers on a U.S. military base, whom he specifically targeted because they were about to be dispatched to join an occupation force in Iraq and Afghanistan, two Muslim countries that have been savaged by the United States.   Meanwhile, Frank Wuterich was part of an occupying force and killed 24 Muslim civilians–civilians in a country that was occupied and savaged by the United States.  The former is an act of Terrorism; the latter is “negligent dereliction of duty.”  If you’re a Muslim, then it’s Terrorism; if you’re fighting Muslims, then at most it’s “negligent dereliction of duty.”

This is, as Glenn Greenwald always says, the true definition of the word “Terrorist”:

It means:  anyone — especially of the Muslim religion and/or Arab nationality — who fights against the United States and its allies or tries to impede their will.  That’s what “Terrorism” is; that’s all it means.

I’ve been inspired by an image I saw here to create this image to properly depict the situation:

Wuterich killed 24 Iraqi civilians in retaliation for one U.S. soldier being killed (a soldier, mind you, who was part of an occupying force on Iraqi soil).  Why are we so amazed at how primitive and backwards those Muslims are when they get angry about the over one million civilians we have killed of theirs?

Hasan’s act of violence is troublesome from a moral point of view because it occurred on U.S. soil, but Greenwald points to an example that occurred on Iraqi soil: this is the case of Faruq Khalil Muhammad Isa, an Iraqi born man who was officially accused of “Terrorism” for “the Murder of Five American Soldiers” on Iraqi soil.  Greenwald notes:

Isa is charged with “providing material support to a terrorist conspiracy” because he allegedly supported a 2008 attack on a U.S. military base in Mosul that killed 5 American soldiers. In other words, if the U.S. invades and occupies your country, and you respond by fighting back against the invading army — the ultimate definition of a “military, not civilian target” — then you are a . . . Terrorist.

Putting that in graphic form, we have:

Were the civilians of Haditha not “terrorized” by Frank Wuterich and his men?  Wasn’t that exactly the point of the massacre: to terrorize the Iraqi population to the point where they would no longer resist American soldiers?  Were the Muslim civilians killed in Haditha any less in a state of terror–terrorized–than the soldiers on the Fort Hood base?

One last point: the NYT’s article fails to make the logical conclusion: it’s not enough to say that the threat of Islamic terrorism is overblown.  Rather, the real question is why it is so: it’s to justify our many wars in the Muslim world and our occupations of their lands.  It’s war propaganda.

Addendum I:  

I would like to apologize for comparing Lindsay Lohan to Frank Wuterich: prosecutors sought much longer jail sentences on her than him, and she spent more time in jail than he did.  Does anyone want to create a side-by-side image comparison of Lohan and Wuterich?  I’ll update the article and put it up if it’s worthy enough.

Update I:

Here’s another “fun” graphic I just created:

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Europol Reports Zero Deaths from Islamic Terrorism in Europe

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2011 by loonwatch

Europol tracks terrorist attacks in the European Union and publishes the data in an annual report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT).  The first such report was for the year 2006 and the most recently released one was for 2010.  Going through the data, I noted in my previous article (Updated Europol Data: Less Than 1% of Terrorist Attacks by Muslims) that less than 1% of terrorist attacks on European soil were committed by Muslims.

Anti-Muslim bigots were naturally very upset with these findings, and offered a couple flimsy counter-responses.  The most popular one was some variation of the following snarky remark:

Perhaps ‘scale’ rather than ‘quantity’ is the real issue here? ;)

But, is it?

I went back through the data, which revealed the following conclusion: there were zero deaths from Islamist terrorism for every single year the Europol reports were published, a span of five years.

Here is the data (all quotes are taken directly from that year’s Europol terrorism report):

In 2006, there were no successful terrorist attacks by Muslims, but only 1 “failed terrorist attack that took place in Germany” resulting in zero deaths.

In 2007, once again “[t]here were no successful Islamist terrorist attacks” with 1 “failed terrorist attack that took place in Germany” and 3 “attempted terrorist attack[s]” resulting in zero deaths.

In 2008, there was only 1 terrorist attack by Muslims, in which “only the attacker himself was injured.”  Again, zero deaths.  But, the scale of the Islamist terrorist attacks make up for the fact that 99+% of terrorist attacks were by non-Muslims!  (Note: there were no other attempted or foiled attacks in that year.)

In 2009, there was only 1 terrorist attack by Muslims, resulting in zero deaths but “[o]ne of the guards trying to stop [the terrorist] was slightly wounded.”  The scale!  The horror!

In 2010, “[t]he number of Islamist terrorist attacks actually carried out in the EU was limited to three attacks in 2010.  They caused minimal damage to the intended targets.”  The report notes further that “[t]he attacks shared some characteristics” including “lack of familiarity with explosives.”  But, be very afraid of these Mastermind Terrorists!  In the first attack, the victim “managed to save his life” by locking himself in a room.  In the second attack, the Mastermind Terrorist accidentally let the bomb explode while “in a hotel toilet,” resulting in zero fatalities.  In the last attack, ”the suspected suicide bomber himself was the only fatality.”  Once again, there were zero deaths from Islamist terrorism in that year.

This brings us to a grand total of zero deaths from Islamist terrorism from every year since Europol started keeping track of terrorism and publishing an annual report.  Amazingly, it seems that the only injuries sustained, in the entire five year period, was to one guard who “was slightly wounded.”

Yet, even though according to the data in their own reports Muslims were responsible for less than 1% of terrorist attacks and caused zero deaths, Europol ominously warns that “the threat [from Islamist terrorism] remains real and serious” and “the threat of Islamist terrorism by Al-Qaeda inspired groups and affiliates is high.”  Every year, without fail, Europol has reported these same findings, but never once did any of these reports note that the threat of Islamist terrorism is heavily exaggerated.  In fact, the data they provide is irrelevant to their conclusions and recommendations, which are actually predetermined long before any data is collected or analyzed.

In one of his recent articles, Glenn Greenwald notes that U.S. officials declared that they have defeated Al-Qaeda by rendering it “operationally ineffective” but at the same time warned that “the terrorist group will remain a major security threat for years.”  It seems that both the United States and the European Union are able to operate under such paradoxical premises.

Similarly, facts will not move Islamophobes.  Even as their main arguments fall apart, they will no doubt find some fall-back argument to rely upon.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Updated Europol Data: Less Than 1% of Terrorist Attacks by Muslims

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by loonwatch

The most popular article published on LoonWatch was released in January of 2010: that article showed that, according to the official FBI website, only 6% of terrorist attacks in the United States from 1980-2005 (the only years where data was available) were committed by Muslims.

I published a follow-up article to look at the picture across the pond: I cited official data from Europol, which releases an annual terrorism report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT). The first available such report was for the year 2006.  The data from 2006, 2007, and 2008 showed that about 0.4% of terrorist attacks in the European Union were committed by Muslims–less than 1% (actually, less than half of 1%).

Today, I’d like to update our readers with new Europol data: the data for 2009 and 2010 is now available.

Once again, a minuscule percentage of terrorist attacks in Europe were committed by Muslims.  In 2009 and 2010, there were a grand total of 543 terrorist attacks, of which only 4 were committed by Muslims.  This means that only 0.7% of terrorist attacks–again, less than 1%–were committed by Muslims.

Meanwhile, in that same time frame, separatist groups in Europe committed 397 terrorist attacks, or 73% of terrorist attacks overall.  In other words, separatist groups committed 99.2 times (almost 100 times) more terrorist attacks than Muslims.

Another 85 attacks were committed by left-wing groups, accounting for about 16% of terrorist attacks overall.

Here is the data for 2009:

And for 2010:

In the 2010 report, the annex contains a summary of the results from the previous and current years:

(Due to size constraints, the table is a bit difficult to read here; you can see the actual report here.)

This “mega-table” shows that from 2007 to 2009, out of 1,317 terrorist attacks only 3 of them were committed by Muslims.  From a percentage standpoint, that means only about 0.2% of terrorist attacks in Europe were committed by Muslims in those years–again, far less than 1%.

If we combine the data from the years Europol started keeping track of terrorist attacks–including 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010–we see that out of a grand total of 2,139 terrorist attacks only 10 of them were committed by Muslims.  You can count the number of terrorist attacks by Muslims on your fingertips.  Percentage wise, this means that 0.5% of terrorist attacks in Europe–half of 1%–were committed by Muslims.

In spite of this fact, all we ever hear about in the media and national discourse is the threat of “Islamist terrorism.” The data, however, does not support such fear-mongering.   Yet, it is amazing how many people will persist in the belief that “Islamist terrorism” is an existential threat to America and Europe.

What is more amazing, however, are the Europol reports themselves.  Year after year they report the same data, with terrorist attacks by Muslims numbering anywhere from zero to four incidents, always less than 1% of the total.  For example, the 2010 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report showed that only 1 Islamist terrorist attack took place in the entire previous year.  In that year (as in every year), separatist and leftist terrorism dwarfed Islamist terrorism by a magnitude of 237:1 and 40:1 respectively.  Nonetheless, the report notes that “Islamist terrorism is still perceived as the biggest threat to most Member States” and concludes that “the threat remains real and serious.”  No statement in the publication indicates that the perceived threat is exaggerated.

In 2010, there were 249 terrorist attacks; only 3 of these were committed by Islamists and the attacks themselves were described by the 2011 Europol report as “caus[ing] minimal damage.”  Yet, the same report ominously warns that “the threat of Islamist terrorism by Al-Qaeda inspired groups and affiliates is high.”  The report also includes xenophobic warnings about the threat of Muslim immigration to Europe, warning:

The current and future flow of immigrants originating from North Africa could have an influence on the EU’s security situation. Individuals with terrorist aims could easily enter Europe amongst the large numbers of immigrants.

So, three goons do something, and then the entire North African community is to be stigmatized?

Instead of drawing the obvious conclusion that the threat of “Islamic terrorism” is heavily exaggerated, the authors of these Europol reports continue to publish alarmist conclusions that simply do not match up with the data that they themselves provide.

*  *  *  *  *

When I published my previous article on terrorist attacks inside America and Europe, anti-Muslim critics giddily pointed out that the very same reports warned of the threat of Islamist terrorism.  The data also showed that a disproportionately large minority of suspects arrested, detained, or wanted for terrorism-related offenses were Muslims.

This is not something I dispute.  In fact, this finding supports my main argument: the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, the United States government, and their European counterparts are wrongfully targeting the Muslim community.  The disparity between actual terrorist attacks committed by Muslims on the one hand and the number of Muslims arrested on the other speaks to this grave injustice, blatant discrimination, and misguided policy.

The 2010 Europol report notes:

Reported court decisions related to separatist and left-wing terrorism have the highest acquittal rate (15 %).

Guess who has the lowest acquittal rate?  If your name is Abdallah ibn Masood al-Tamimi, you don’t stand a chance.

Furthermore, the report goes on to say (emphasis is mine):

Suspected membership of a terrorist organisation and the financing of terrorism were the two most common reasons for arrests related to Islamist terrorism.

In fact:

The majority of arrests were made on suspicion of membership of a terrorist organisation.

In other words, the most common reasons Muslims were arrested were not for actually planning or carrying out terrorist attacks…not even for being suspected of that.  Rather, it was for suspected membership of a terrorist organization.  But, here’s the real gem:

As in 2008, two-thirds of the individuals arrested on suspicion of involvement in Islamist terrorism could not be linked to specific terrorist organisations known to the authorities.

So, let me get this straight: Muslims were arrested for suspected links to terrorist groups, except the authorities didn’t even know to which ones?  How much evidence could these authorities possibly have if they didn’t even know the names of the supposed groups that these Muslims were allegedly affiliated to were suspected to be affiliated to?

As for financing terrorism, we all know how that works: there is the famous case of the highly-esteemed Islamic intellectual Dr. Tariq Ramadan who donated money to two Palestinian charities between 1998 and 2002.  In 2003, the United States designated both of these charities as “terrorist fundraising organizations” for their alleged support of Hamas.  Dr. Ramadan did not give any more money to these charities  after that.  Even so, the United States government accused Tariq Ramadan of “providing material support to a terrorist organization.”  They argued that he “reasonably should have known” that the charities provided money to Hamas.  Ramadan naturally responded: “How should I reasonably have known of their activities before the U.S. government itself knew?”

The same situation happens with other Muslims, to the point where now Muslim communities are too scared to donate to Islamic charities or to charities located in their ancestral countries.  Even President Barack Obama seemed to appreciate this problem in a speech he gave in Cairo.

Muslims are arrested at a rate that does not correlate with the actual number of terrorist acts committed by Muslims simply because the majority of them are arrested not for actual, attempted, or even planned terrorist attacks.  Rather, they are arrested for “providing material support for terrorism”–the absolutest vaguest of charges, one that I suspect a future generation will be smart enough to prohibit by law.  Using such Gestapo style laws, Muslims can be arrested for mere suspicion of being part of an unknown terrorist organization, with little or no proof needed to levy such charges; alternatively, they can be arrested for “financing terrorism,” which often just means donating to charities that even the government hasn’t banned yet.  Other offenses for which Muslims are arrested for include producing “propaganda”, which here in the U.S. would be considered Constitutionally protected freedom of speech (but is now prosecuted due to the curtailing of freedoms of speech in the War on of Terror) or even for merely expressing unpopular political views.

*  *  *  *  *

Clearly, the data proves that Islamist terrorism is not a major threat to the United States or Europe.  Anyone who believes it to be an existential threat should be considered alarmist and even a bit insane.

We’ve all heard the oft-repeated saying of Islamophobes that “all Muslims might not be terrorists, but (almost) all terrorists are Muslims!”  Without any shadow of doubt, this mantra is patently false.  Not just that, but certainly in the case of Europe it’s completely reversed from reality: all Muslims aren’t terrorists, and almost no terrorist attacks are committed by them–less than 1%.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Loonwatch in the Media: NPR and Juan Cole’s Informed Comment

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2010 by loonwatch

Loonwatch has been in the media quite a bit, The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, etc. and now NPR and Professor Juan Cole at his Informed Comment.

Muslims Try to Get Media-Savvy (go to 3:15)
http://www.wnyc.org/media/audioplayer/red_progress_player_no_pop.swf

by Arun Venugopal

Muslim intellectuals and activists appear to have a favorite source of TV news: “The Daily Show,” which reliably skewers critics of Islam and Islam-based hysteria, and is in all likelihood the only program with a Senior Islamic Correspondent, in Aasif Mandvi.

More serious, but equally edgy is LoonWatch, a relatively new Web site whose editors want to remain anonymous. The people behind LoonWatch (which bears the faux-alarmist tagline, “The Mooslims! They’re Heeere!”) said their mission is to expose “anti-Muslim loons, wackos, and conspiracy theorists” on the Internet.  One of their most widely-circulated articles was “All Terrorists are Muslims… except the 94% who Aren’t,” and was based on FBI statistics showing that only 6 percent of terrorists since 1980 have been Muslim.

DePaul University professor Laith Saud said LoonWatch is not only funny and incisive, but much better at addressing Islam and critics of Islam than the mainstream media.

“In terms of the intellectual claims being made by Islamophobes, those really go unchallenged,” he said. “What the mainstream media is really concerned with is how Islamophobia is playing out politically in this country, in terms of Republicans and Democrats, in terms of voter registration and voter drives.

Loonwatch’s beef it should be reiterated is not with mere critics of Islam but those who traffic in irrational fear of Islam and are pushing an anti-Muslim agenda. The reason we get it more than the mainstream media is because we are ahead of the game. We have been talking about Spencer, Geller and the anti-Muslim movement and its potential to create Islamophobiapalooza for a year and a half now, long before the mainstream media. We have knowledgeable people from all backgrounds, because in the end the fight against bigotry and hate is a universal fight.

Professor Juan Cole used the analysis we first published on the Europol report on terrorist attacks in Europe and also linked to us in a great blog piece on Informed Comment.

On Juan Williams’ Firing for Islamophobia and how Most European Terrorism is by European Separatists

A Europol report on terrorist attacks in Europe in 2009 [pdf] says that out of hundreds of terrorist attacks iin Europe in 2009, most were the work of ethnic separatists. About 40 were carried out by members of the extreme left. A handful by the European far right. See also this analysis.

One terrorist attack was carried out in 2009 in all Europe by persons of Muslim heritage (I do not say ‘by a Muslim’ because terrorism is forbidden in Islamic law).

That is right. Out of hundreds. Exactly one.

After all that nonsense spewed on the internet and Fox Cable News about the danger of Muslims to Europe, and all the ethnic profiling and other discrimination against Muslims, it turns out that not only is their religion not dangerous, even the persons who depart from it into extremism and terrorism are tiny in number. Now it would not be right to profile or generalize about Basques, the Real IRA, etc., either. But even by the lights of the bigoted, it would be a waste of time to obsess about Muslims on this evidence.

As for the European far left and far right, those it is all right to generalize about and to conclude that they are, like, very dangerous. Two words: Stalin and Hitler. Extremists of Muslim heritage have killed a few thousands of people over the past century. European political extremists have killed tens of millions.

 

Bomb Kills Aid to Greek Counter-Terrorism Minister, What if they were Muslim?

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on June 24, 2010 by loonwatch

Oh look a Muslim terrorist has struck again in Europe, this time against the Greek “counter-terrorism” minister…except…wait…this just in…the terrorist was likely from the rebel guerilla movementRevolutionary Struggle. Looks like the 99.6% of terrorist attacks has struck again.

Bomb kills aide to Greek counter-terrorism minister

A bomb blast at the offices of Greece’s public order ministry in Athens has killed a close aide to the minister responsible for counter-terrorism.

Police said the victim had opened a parcel bomb.

The explosion happened only metres away from the office of the minister, Michalis Chryssohoidis, who was unhurt.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the bombing was a terrorist attack. So far no group has said it was beind the bomb.

‘Cowardly murderers’

The blast was so powerful that some in the heavily guarded building thought it had been struck by an earthquake, the BBC’s Malcolm Brabant in Athens reports.

The victim was later identified as Giorgos Vassilakis, a 50-year-old father of two.

Visibly shaken, Mr Chryssohoidis said he had “lost a valuable and beloved colleague”.

map

“We cannot be scared and we cannot be terrorised. These cowardly murderers will be brought to justice.”

The minister added that the parcel had been meant for him.

Mr Papandreou also branded the bombers “cowards”, adding: “They will get the response that they deserve not only from the state but also from all of society. The terrorists will not reach their objective.”

Greek terrorism expert Dr Athanasios Drougas told the BBC that the bomb was probably the work of Revolutionary Struggle, the country’s most deadly active guerilla group.

In recent months police have made major breakthroughs against Revolutionary Struggle and another militant organisation, Conspiracy of Fire.

Dr Drougas said Revolutionary Struggle was sending a message that its was not defeated and was still capable of striking at the heart of the Greek government.

 

Europol Report: All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 99.6% that Aren’t

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2010 by loonwatch
Europol releases an annual study of terrorism; the results do not support claims that "(nearly) all Muslims are terrorists"Europol releases an annual study of terrorism; the results do not support claims that “(nearly) all Muslims are terrorists”

Islamophobes have been popularizing the claim that “not all Muslims are terrorists, but (nearly) all terrorists are Muslims.”  Despite this idea becoming axiomatic in some circles, it is quite simply not factual.  In my previous article entitled “All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 94% that Aren’t”, I usedofficial FBI records to show that only 6% of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by Islamic extremists.  The remaining 94% were from other groups (42% from Latinos, 24% from extreme left wing groups, 7% from extremist Jews, 5% from communists, and 16% from all other groups).

But what about across the pond?  The data gathered by Europol strengthens my argument even further. (hat tip: Koppe)  Europol publishes an annual report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report.  On their official website, you can access the reports from 20072008, and 2009.  (If anyone can find the reports from earlier than that, please let me know so we can include those as well.)

The results are stark, and prove decisively that not all terrorists are Muslims.  In fact, a whopping 99.6% of terrorist attacks in Europe were by non-Muslim groups; a good 84.8% of attacks were from separatist groups completely unrelated to Islam.  Leftist groups accounted for over sixteen times as much terrorism as radical Islamic groups.  Only a measly 0.4% of terrorist attacks from 2007 to 2009 could be attributed to extremist Muslims.

Here are the official tables provided in the reports…

For 2006:

20063b

For 2007:

2007b

For 2008:

20081b

(According to the report, there was 1 “Islamist attack” in the UK in 2008, which was omitted in the table above.  It has been included in the bar graph below.)

Just glancing at those tables is enough to know how absurd it is to claim that “all terrorists are Muslims.”  That statement is nowhere near the truth.  If we compile the data, it comes out to this:

barchart-copy

 

On p.7, the 2009 Europol report concludes:

Islamist terrorism is still perceived as being the biggest threat worldwide, despite the fact that the EU only faced one Islamist terrorist attack in 2008.  This bomb attack took place in the UK…Separatist terrorism remains the terrorism area which affects the EU most. This includes Basque separatist terrorism in Spain and France, and Corsican terrorism in France…Past contacts between ETA and the FARC illustrate the fact that also separatist terrorist organizations seek cooperation partners outside the EU on the basis of common interests.  In the UK, dissident Irish republican groups, principally the RIRA and the CIRA, and other paramilitary groups may continue to engage in crime and violence.

Perception is not reality.  Due to the right wing’s influence and propaganda, people mistakenly think that Islamic terrorism is the greatest threat to the Western world.  It is even a commonly held belief that Islamic terrorism poses an existential threat–that the very survival of the Western world is at stake.  Of course, the reality is that there are other groups that engage in terrorism on a much larger scale, yet these terrorist incidents are minimized.  Acts of terrorism committed by Muslims are purposefully sensationalized and focused upon, culminating in the idea that “(nearly) all terrorists are Muslims.”

Terrorism from Islamic extremists is certainly a cause for concern, but it need not be an issue that creates mass hysteria.  Nor should it be allowed to be such a critical issue that we are willing to sacrifice our ideals or civil rights for fear of it.  Neither should we be reduced to a status of absolute sissitude.  We have analyzed data from America and Europe (a good portion of the entire Western world), and the threat from Islamic terrorism is much more minimal than commonly assumed; in the U.S., it accounts for 6% of terrorist attacks, and in Europe not even half of a percent.

It is only through sensationalism and fear mongering that the topic of Islamic terrorism is allowed to be used to demonize a religious community that happens to be a minority in the West.  When confronted by such lunacy, we ought to respond with the facts and the truth.

In a future article, we shall analyze the data for terrorism on the world stage in order to further strengthen our argument…