Here’s an infographic that purports to tell the story of “Domestic Terrorism”. There’s only one problem with it — it stinks.
Sponsored by “Regroup,” which is a commercial attempt to spin off Stanford U’s snitch app and related software, the thing was thrown together without any attempt at doing anything but, perhaps, pimping their Stasi-bot.
Here’s just a few of the howlers:
While the authors of the infographic seem mystified by the affiliations and motivations of the terrorists at the Boston Marathon (that would be Flashbang and Speedbump, energized by the local mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston, and al-Awlaki) and their pal at Fort Hood (“Killeen, TX”) (that would be Nidal Hasan, energized by… his local mosque, and al-Awlaki), those of us not handicapped by a Stanford education can probably figure it out.
Also, including the 9/11 dead makes seeing patterns a bit hard. In addition, if we’re going to count the 9/11 dead, what about the 9/11 injured. There were over six thousand of them in New York, and over 100 (106, exactly) seriously injured at the Pentagon. But to these California software salesmen, they apparently don’t count.
OK, next slide, and we’ll see what they screwed up next….
Now, all those groups do exist, in that there’s some sphincter muscle somewhere who claims to be one of ’em. But they don’t have a like impact. If you look back at the heavy hitters from the previous excerpt, you’ll see that they have something in common: the Religion of Peace®. But what do they have here? A half dozen right-wing groups who probably have about the same number of members, one each… and about the same number of teeth.
Minuteman American Defense, for example, was made up of two criminals who were drop-outs from the larger Minuteman movement, and they murdered a Hispanic man and his daughter in 2009, not in an act of terrorism so much as to facilitate a robbery. The two criminals, Jason Bush and Shawna Forde, were convicted of capital murder and are on death row in Arizona. That is the entire capsule history of Minuteman American Defense: not a terrorist group but a criminal gang with a faux-political name. But at least they killed somebody.
Veterans United for Non-Religious Memorials appears to be a terrorist underground counterpart of Mikey Weinstein’s group, or the ACLU, militant atheists of Jewish extraction bent out of shape by the Christian cross symbol. All it’s done is set off a small bomb — too small to damage anything — on a Coos Bay, Oregon, memorial.
And Revolutionary Cells — Animal Liberation Brigade is typical of ecoterrorists in that they, too, like to make symbolic attacks on empty facilities. None of the ecoterrorists has killed anybody in this period, although they’ve burned down a lot of facilities, and a good bit of forest (because environmentalism?) and if they keep it up they’ll have a bodycount someday out of sheer dumb luck.
The Ku Klux Klan isn’t as dead as we thought, but it has pretty much checked into Assisted Living at this juncture. Even the SPLC, who see Klansmen under their own white sheets, has only come up with one murder and one uncompleted murder conspiracy in the last 20 or so years. (However, justice still catches up with 1960s-era Klansmen from time to time). Although they do have the potential to kill, they’re pathetic; less like the terrifying Klan that lynched thousands than the “Illinois Nazis” of the movie The Blues Brothers.
The Sovereign Citizens do show up more frequently in crime: a triple murder last month, and a double-murder in January 2015 (by an ex-con), and an unrealized 2011 plot to whack a judge, for example. But they are not exactly a terrorist organization: they’re loopy individuals who have convinced themselves that the law does not apply to them. (While the typical Sovereign Citizen is a white extremist, an SPLC roundup of these schmoes includes four rap promoters/criminals). It’s hard to accept these as terrorists — they’re just criminals with a patter.
But while the Shadow of Doom in the shape of non-Islamic domestic terrorism keeps being threatened by the usual suspects like the Southern Poverty Law (and Fund-Raising) Center, when doom actually falls it’s always shouting allahu akbar.
None of the rest of the groups seem to be a worthwhile use of CT resources, to tell the truth. They seem like ordinary criminals, if sometimes weird and off-kilter in their motivation, and there’s no evidence ordinary police work can’t handle them appropriately.
On to the next, and we’ll talk about the Curse of Innumeracy.
Innumeracy is a true plague, striking down tens of thousands since colleges and even high schools stopped requiring lazy liberal arts students to master some simple maths. For instance, how many victims has the dread terrorist group, Unknown, had? That depends on what end of the infographic you look at. But of course, we already know that they’ve screwed up the numbers by dropping all the Al-Q wounded and by distributing the ISIL and AQAP fellow-travelers and other Sudden Jihad Syndrome sufferers among the Unknown and Individual groups.
By not having a category for Islamic Terrorism, they’re clouding the picture of terrorism, either deliberately or (Occam’s Razor says…) out of sheer incompetence. It simply confuses the picture of terrorism to give credence to every inbred bank-robber or graffiti vandal’s claim to represent some shadowy group.
Gee, who else has a problem giving Islamic Terrorism a name?
Then there’s the long pull quote, suggesting that “right-wing terrorism” like the toothless trailer trash we’ve already mentioned are twice as big a problem as Islamic terror, because twice as many “police executives” (not sworn officers, but political appointees) are worried about the Klan/Sovereign/Minute losers as are worried about jihadis.
If you know anything about terrorism, you’ll know less after you read this shallow, lazy, and inaccurate infographic. And that’s why it stinks.
One wonders just how bad their snitch app is.