Non-Muslims Perpetrated 94% Of All Terror Attacks On US Soil

 Non-Muslims Perpetrated 94% Of All Terror Attacks On US Soil

The Threat To The U.S. From “Muslim Terrorists” Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

An FBI report shows that only a small percentage of terrorist attacks carried out on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 were perpetrated by Muslims.

Princeton University’s Loon Watch compiled the following chart from the FBI’s data.

According to this data, there were more Jewish acts of terrorism within the United States than Islamic (7% vs 6%). These radical Jews committed acts of terrorism in the name of their religion. These were not terrorists who happened to be Jews; rather, they were extremist Jews who committed acts of terrorism based on their religious passions, just like Al-Qaeda and company.

(The chart is misleading in several ways. For example, it labels “Extreme Left Wing Groups” and “Communists”, but not “Extreme Right Wing Groups” or “Fascists”. It should have either discarded allpartisan labels, or included labels for both ends of the spectrum. In addition, “Latinos” is misleading, as Loonwatch is actually referring to Puerto Rican separatist groups, Cuban exile groups and the like. However, as shown below, many of the basic concepts are correct.)

U.S. News and World Report noted in February of this year:

Of the more than 300 American deaths from political violence and mass shootings since 9/11, only 33 have come at the hands of Muslim-Americans, according to the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. The Muslim-American suspects or perpetrators in these or other attempted attacks fit no demographic profile—only 51 of more than 200 are of Arabic ethnicity. In 2012, all but one of the nine Muslim-American terrorism plots uncovered were halted in early stages. That one, an attempted bombing of a Social Security office in Arizona, caused no casualties.

Wired reported the same month:

Since 9/11, [Charles Kurzman, Professor of Sociology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, writing for the Triangle Center on Terrorism and National Security] and his team tallies, 33 Americans have died as a result of terrorism launched by their Muslim neighbors. During that period, 180,000 Americans were murdered for reasons unrelated to terrorism. In just the past year, the mass shootings that have captivated America’s attention killed 66 Americans, “twice as many fatalities as from Muslim-American terrorism in all 11 years since 9/11,” notes Kurzman’s team.

Law enforcement, including “informants and undercover agents,” were involved in “almost all of the Muslim-American terrorism plots uncovered in 2012,” the Triangle team finds. That’s in keeping with the FBI’s recent practice of using undercover or double agents to encourage would-be terrorists to act on their violent desires and arresting them when they do — a practice critics say comes perilously close to entrapment. A difference in 2012 observed by Triangle: with the exception of the Arizona attack, all the alleged plots involving U.S. Muslims were “discovered and disrupted at an early stage,” while in the past three years, law enforcement often observed the incubating terror initiatives “after weapons or explosives had already been gathered.”

The sample of Muslim Americans turning to terror is “vanishingly small,” Kurzman tells Danger Room. Measuring the U.S. Muslim population is a famously inexact science, since census data don’t track religion, but rather “country of origin,” which researchers attempt to use as a proxy. There are somewhere between 1.7 million and seven million American Muslims, by most estimates, and Kurzman says he operates off a model that presumes the lower end, a bit over 2 million. That’s less a rate of involvement in terrorism of less than 10 per million, down from a 2003 high of 40 per million, as detailed in the chart above.

Yet the scrutiny by law enforcement and homeland security on American Muslims has not similarly abated. The FBI tracks “geomaps” of areas where Muslims live and work, regardless of their involvement in any crime. The Patriot Act and other post-9/11 restrictions on government surveillance remain in place. The Department of Homeland Security just celebrated its 10th anniversary. In 2011, President Obama ordered the entire federal national-security apparatus to get rid of counterterrorism training material that instructed agents to focus on Islam itself, rather than specific terrorist groups.

Kurzman doesn’t deny that law enforcement plays a role in disrupting and deterring homegrown U.S. Muslim terrorism. His research holds it out as a possible explanation for the decline. But he remains surprised by the disconnect between the scale of the terrorism problem and the scale — and expense — of the government’s response.

“Until public opinion starts to recognize the scale of the problem has been lower than we feared, my sense is that public officials are not going to change their policies,” Kurzman says. “Counterterrorism policies have involved surveillance — not just of Muslim-Americans, but of all Americans, and the fear of terrorism has justified intrusions on American privacy and civil liberties all over the internet and other aspects of our lives. I think the implications here are not just for how we treat a religious minority in the U.S., but also how we treat the rights & liberties of everyone.”

Kurzman told the Young Turks in February that Islamic terrorism “doesn’t even count for 1 percent” of the 180,000 murders in the US since 9/11.

While the Boston marathon bombings were horrific, a top terrorism expert says that the Boston attack was more like Columbine than 9/11, and that the bombers are “murderers not terrorists”. Theoverwhelming majority of mass shootings were by non-Muslims. (This is true in Europe, as well as in the U.S.)

However you classify them – murder or terrorism – the Boston bombings occurred after all of the statistical analysis set forth above. Moreover, different groups have different agendas about how to classify the perpetrators (For example, liberal Mother Jones and conservative Breitbart disagree on how many of the perpetrators of terror attacks can properly be classified as right wing extremists.)

we reviewed all of the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil as documented by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). (2012). Global Terrorism Database, as retrieved from http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd.

The START Global Terrorism Database spans from 1970 through 2012 (and will be updated from year-to-year), and – as of this writing – includes 104,000 terrorist incidents. As such, it is the most comprehensive open-source database open to the public.

We counted up the number of terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims. We excluded attacks by groups which are obviously not Muslims, such as the Ku Klux Klan, Medellin Drug Cartel, Irish Republican Army, Anti-Castro Group, Mormon extremists, Vietnamese Organization to Exterminate Communists and Restore the Nation, Jewish Defense League, May 19 Communist Order, Chicano Liberation Front, Jewish Armed Resistance, American Indian Movement, Gay Liberation Front, Aryan Nation, Jewish Action Movement, National Front for the Liberation of Cuba, or Fourth Reich Skinheads.

We counted attacks by Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Black American Moslems, or anyone who even remotelysounded Muslim … for example anyone from Palestine, Lebanon or any other Arab or Muslim country, or any name including anything sounding remotely Arabic or Indonesian (like “Al” anything or “Jamaat” anything).

If we weren’t sure what the person’s affiliation was, we looked up the name of the group to determine whether it could in any way be connected to Muslims.

Based on our review of the approximately 2,400 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil contained within the START database, we determined that approximately 60 were carried out by Muslims.

In other words, approximately 2.5% of all terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1970 and 2012 were carried out by Muslims.* This is a tiny proportion of all attacks.

We determined that approximately 118 of the terror attacks – or 4.9% – were carried out by Jewish groups such as Jewish Armed Resistance, the Jewish Defense League, Jewish Action Movement, United Jewish Underground and Thunder of Zion. This is almost twice the percentage of Islamic attacks within the United States. In addition, there were approximately 168 attacks – or 7% – by anti-abortion activists, who tend to be Christian. Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional – a Puerto Rican paramilitary organization – carried out more than 120 bomb attacks on U.S. targets between 1974 and 1983, and there were some 41 attacks by Cuban exiles, and a number of attacks by other Latin American groups.

Another study undertaken by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism – called ”Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism in the United States” – found:

Between 1970 and 2011, 32 percent of the perpetrator groups were motivated by ethnonationalist/separatist agendas, 28 percent were motivated by single issues, such as animal rights or opposition to war, and seven percentwere motivated by religious beliefs. In addition, 11 percent of the perpetrator groups were classified as extreme right-wing, and 22 percent were categorized as extreme left-wing.

Preliminary findings from PPT-US data between 1970 and 2011 also illustrate a distinct shift in the dominant ideologies of these terrorist groups over time, with the proportion of emerging ethnonationalist/separatist terrorist groups declining and the proportion of religious terrorist groups increasing. However, while terrorist groups with religious ideologies represent 40 percent of all emergent groups from 2000-2011 (two out of five), they only account for seven percent of groups over time.

Similarly, a third study by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism Religion found that religion alone is not a key factor in determining which terrorists want to use weapons of mass destruction:

The available empirical data show that there is not a significant relationship between terrorist organizations’ pursuit of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear) weapons and the mere possession of a religious ideology, according to a new quantitative study by START researchers Victor Asal, Gary Ackerman and Karl Rethemeyer.

Therefore, Muslims are not more likely than other groups to want to use WMDs.

* The Boston marathon bombing was not included in this analysis, as START has not yet updated its database to include 2013 terrorist attacks. 3 people died in the Boston attack. While tragic, we are confident that non-Musliims killed more than 3 during this same period.

We are not experts in terrorism analysis. We would therefore defer to people like Kurzman on the exact number. However, every quantitative analysis of terrorism in the U.S. we have read shows that the percent of terror attacks carried out by Muslims is far less than 10%.

Postscript: State-sponsored terrorism is beyond the scope of this discussion, and was not included in our statistical analysis. Specifically, the following arguments are beyond the scope of this discussion, as we are focusing solely on non-state terrorism:

Arguments by University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole that deaths from 20th century wars could be labeled Christian terrorism

Arguments that our recent use of torture and double tap drone strikes are terrorism

What Europe’s Far-Right Parties Can Learn From Islam

 What Europe's Far-Right Parties Can Learn From Islam

Today’s far-right parties in Europe, such as the National Front in France and the Party for Freedom in Holland, are surging in popularity and calling for legal bans on veils, mosques, minarets, sha’ria, and even the outright expulsion of Muslims from the continent. In short, the far-right perceives Muslims as “inassimilable” and their religion as “evil” and “backward.”

Ironically, however, Muslims have a rich history of harmony, justice, and compassion for humanity. These historical facts raise the question of whether Europe’s far-right parties should look to Muslim history for direction and guidance in their approach to handling minority communities.

Prophet Muhammad set the precedent for Muslims in regards to tolerance in the Constitution of Medina, one of history’s first legal documents to safeguard human rights. Also called the Medina Charter,

Prophet Muhammad’s Constitution provided equal rights to non-Muslims living under an Islamic government around the year 622. According to the Constitution, “Strangers” in Muhammad’s Muslim society were to be treated with special consideration and “on the same ground as [Muslims].”

Six years after creating the Medina Constitution, Muhammad sent a letter to Christian monks at St. Catherine’s in the Sinai, Egypt, to show his desire to protect vulnerable religious communities. In the letter, Muhammad offered the Christians peace and called on his fellow Muslims to “defend [Christians], because Christians are my citizens.”

Muhammad’s letter to the Christian monks also includes advice on how Christian judges are not to be removed from their offices, nor are the monks to be forced out of their monasteries. “No one is to destroy a house of their religion,” Muhammad stated, “or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses.” He added: “Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.”

On Mount Arafat in 632 AD, Muhammad left another “charter” for human rights. In his “Final Sermon,” he claimed that “an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab… a white person has no superiority over black nor does a black have any superiority over white except by piety and good action.” The Final Sermon shows how Muhammad had great care for all people, regardless of their ethnic composition, and that diversity should be celebrated instead of eradicated from society.

Other Muslims leaders, such as Caliph Umar, advised his predecessors “to treat ahl al-dhimmah (Jews and Christians) well, to defend them against their enemies and not burden them with more than they can bear.”

Umar also stated: “Treat all people as equal… I advise you not to let yourself or anyone else do wrong to ahl al-dhimmah.” Umar was following in Muhammad’s footsteps in treating Jews and Christians as equal to Muslims.

Abu Bakr, one of Muhammad’s trusted advisors, is also on record stating that “the most important foundation of a truly Muslim country is justice and equality for all. In fact, a country that is bereft of justice and equality, though it may be inhabited by Muslims, is not really a Muslim country at all.”

Another Muslim leader, Akbar the Great of the Mughal Empire, would echo Muhammad, Umar, and Abu Bakr’s message of tolerance and harmony centuries later. Upon assuming power, Akbar ended the jizya, or poll tax, on non-Muslims and invited people of all religious backgrounds to his court to engage in interfaith dialogue.

Moreover, Akbar had tremendous respect for Christianity, visible in the Buland Darwaze, a large gate-structure at the city of Fatehpur Sikri, on which he had transcribed the Qur’anic inscription: “Isa [Jesus], son of Mary, said: This world is a bridge. Pass over it, but build no houses on it. He who hopes for an hour may hope for eternity. The world endures but an hour. Spend it in prayer, for the rest is unseen.”

Rumi, the famous Sufi poet of the 13th century, also revered Jesus and extended his hand in friendship to non-Muslims. Rumi’s most powerful words echo love and peace to all regardless of ethnic background:

I am neither Christian, nor Jewish, nor Muslim I am not of the east, nor of the west… I have put duality away, I have see the two worlds as one; One I seek, One I know, One I see, One I call (Divan-i Sham-i Tabriz, II)

Members of Europe’s far-right parties can look to these great Muslim leaders for guidance in how to treat Muslims in their societies.

However, Europeans today can also look to the example on their continent – Muslim Spain, between the 8th and 15th centuries – when Muslims ruled a diverse society of Jews and Christians in a relative state of harmony, which was utterly unthinkable in other Christian European cities such as London or Paris.

Muslim Spain reached a state of tolerance which has its very own name – convívencía – which can literally be translated as “living with-ness,” or “requiring tolerance.”

Perhaps its time for Europeans to adopt a 21st century style convívencía so they can come to grips with what Muslims and Islam can offer to European society.

By Craig Considine