Radical leftists like Linda Sarsour and the Huffington Post are calling attention to the recent “study” conducted by the leftist organization The Investigative Fund at Nation Institute, which purports to show that despite Trump’s “fixation on demonizing Islam,” the real domestic terrorist threat comes from “the Right Wing.”
However, if Sarsour and her minions had actually analysed the study’s source data, they would not have been so eager to tout the study,. Upon investigation of the source data it becomes clear that The Nation Institute skewed their analysis to fit their predetermined narrative by incorrectly labeling cases as terrorism, falsely labeling perpetrators as “Right Wing”, and counting acts of vandalism the same as acts of mass murder.
What the data actually shows is that, uniquely, Islamist terrorism is almost exclusively intended to cause mass, primarily civilian casualties, which is why despite Muslims being only 1% of the U.S. population, Islamists are responsible for the majority of domestic terrorism cases intended to cause mass civilian casualties, as well as the greatest number of actual U.S. terrorism deaths. From this data it is clear that despite what the Nation Institute claims, the focus on the Islamist terrorist threat is very well placed.
It is little wonder then that The Nation Institute did not make their data available for download as more reputable sources do, but we were able to reconstruct the source data by extracting it from the interactive graphics in the article.
Specifically, we found that:
- The study claims that from 2008-2016, there were twice as many cases of Right Wing domestic terrorism as cases of Islamist terrorism. However, they only arrive at this figure by labeling as “Right Wing Terror” a number of cases that (while horrible) are either not terrorism or not Right Wing. Some examples of cases that the study falsely labels as “Right Wing Terror” include:
- Elliot Rodger, who kills six UCSB students to “punish women for rejecting him”
- Craig Stephen Hicks, who kills three people in what police say was a parking dispute
- Bruce and Joshua Turnidge, who planted a bomb while robbing a bank which kills two police officers.
- Gavin Eugene Long, a black nationalist who goes on a shooting rampage which kills three police officers because he was angry over the shooting of a black man by Baton Rouge police two weeks earlier,
- Numerous instances of armed stand-offs with police which resulted in fatalities
- You don’t have to take our word for it on the mislabeling of cases as “Right Wing Terror.”The New America Institute, a less biased organization, examined cases of terrorism resulting in fatalities during the same time period and attributed 50% fewer cases with fatalities to “Right Wing Terrorism” than the Nation Institute does, which is also why the New America Institute attributed 26 fewer deaths to “Right Wing Terror” than the Nation Institute does.
- The Nation Institute analysis weights cases of arson and vandalism as equal to cases of mass murder in their tally of terrorism cases. This is highly misleading when used to support the premise that Right Wing Terrorism is a greater threat than Islamist terrorism, since while the study counts 17 cases of arson and vandalism as Right Wing terrorism, it counts no such instances of Islamist terrorism (because Islamist terrorists target people). While technically true that arson can be considered terrorism, it is disingenuous to equate setting fire to an empty Mosque to setting off a car bomb in a crowded town square.
- In reality, the fear of terrorism and the vast sums spent on its prevention are driven by the desire to stop the mass slaughter of civilians. When we consider acts of terrorism designed to cause multiple civilian casualties, the study’s own source data shows that Islamists are responsible for more such cases than all other sources combined, which is why even the Nation Institute analysis admits that Islamists are responsible for the most terrorism fatalities, as well as double the amount of fatalities per case as compared to Right Wing Terrorism cases.
- Bizarrely, the Nation Institute analysis bemoans the fact that Islamist terrorism suspects are disproportionately targeted with sting operations, but then proceeds to use these instances in a stat which purports to demonstrate that Right Wing terrorism is more often deadly.It scarcely needs to be pointed out that comparing the lethality of a list comprised largely of foiled Islamist plots to a list of actual Right Wing terrorist acts is an invalid comparison. However, when you compare only instances when the act of terrorism was carried out, even if we include all of the cases that the Nation Institute falsely labels as Right Wing, this data still shows that Islamist terrorism cases are more often deadly (53%), and Right Wing Cases (44%). When we remove these mislabeled cases the percentage of Right Wing terrorism cases which are deadly drops to 28%.
- According to the study data, in 87% of Islamist terrorism cases the intent was to cause multiple fatalities, while in 48% of Right Wing cases this was the intent, dropping to 45% when the cases mislabled as “Right Wing” are removed.
In summary, what the data actually shows is that, uniquely, Islamist terrorism is almost exclusively intended to cause mass, primarily civilian casualties, which is why despite Muslims being only 1% of the U.S. population, Islamists are responsible for the majority of domestic terrorism cases intended to cause mass civilian casualties, as well as the greatest number of actual U.S. terrorism deaths. From this data it is clear that despite what the Nation Institute claims, the focus on the Islamist terrorist threat is very well placed.