The famously winsome and charming Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), in a 2018 interview that recently resurfaced, fed the fires of the “white supremacist terror” hysteria when she asserted that “our country [no, not Somalia] should be more fearful of white men across our country because they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country.” She also offered a ready solution: “Profiling, monitoring, and creating policies to fight the radicalization of white men.” Amid a general clamor on the Left over “white supremacist terrorism,” this is even crazier than most claims, as commonplace as it is. But the reality is that the idea that there is a massive terror threat from “white supremacists,” dwarfing the jihad threat, isn’t remotely true.
As I noted back in November 2018 when CNN’s intrepid journalist Don Lemon made the same claim, it originated with an April 2017 Government Accountability Office (GAO) study that counted 106 people killed in 62 attacks by “far-right violent extremists,” as compared to 119 people killed in 23 attacks by “radical Islamist violent extremists.”
That’s right: 62 attacks by “far-right violent extremists,” as opposed to only 23 attacks by “radical Islamist violent extremists.” A slightly larger number of people were killed in the jihad attacks, but there were so many more “far-right” attacks that this establishes conclusively that America has a much bigger problem with the “far-right” than with jihadis. Doesn’t it?
It doesn’t. One major problem with the Government Accountability Office study leaps out from page 6 of its report, where you will see that the count of fatalities committed by “far right wing extremists” and “radical Islamist extremists” begins on September 12, 2001. Why was that day chosen? Why not start the study at the beginning of a year, or of this century?
The answer is clear: if the GAO had gone back one more day, the number of Americans killed by Islamic jihadists would have been several thousand more than those killed by “far-right violent extremists.” The GAO obviously started its study on September 12, 2001, in order to manipulate the results so as to exaggerate the terror threat from the “far-right” and minimize it from Islamic jihadis. This is a “study” that was conducted in order to justify a predetermined conclusion, not a genuinely dispassionate search for the truth.
What’s more, the study doesn’t take failed plots into account. At my site Jihad Watch, I’ve tracked jihad activity in the United States and around the world every day since October 2003. In the course of that nearly sixteen-year span, I’ve posted hundreds of reports on failed jihad plots inside this country. No one was killed or injured in those, and for that we can all be grateful. But if those plots had succeeded, there would have been hundreds and possibly thousands more fatalities of Islamic jihad activity.
Those failed plots are quickly forgotten. But they shouldn’t be, especially in considerations of which threat to Americans is larger. It should also be noted that there is nowhere near an equivalent number of foiled plots by “far-right violent extremists.” Most Americans have no idea how determinedly jihadis are continuing to attempt mass murder inside the United States. Just last Monday, a Muslim in New York City shoved a commuter onto the subway tracks and screamed “Allahu akbar” when he was arrested. On July 8, a Muslim in Florida tried to stab a man with scissors at a Walmart and screamed while he was being arrested: “We are coming for you Trump. We are coming for you with knives. God will send angels to destroy you. I need Trump cut. I want to cut, two portions.” On Facebook, he had written: “Whoever knows why I came to America wait for the urgent news on television screens and victory is from Allah.”
There is more. Several weeks ago, two Somali Muslim “refugees” were arrested in Tucson, Ariz., for plotting either to join the Islamic State (ISIS) overseas or carry out a jihad massacre in the United States. One of them declared: “I love jihad so much. If I go to Syria I want to be the beheading person, … I want to kill them so many I am thirsty their blood.”
Even worse, the GAO study doesn’t take into account the fact that there is a global network of Islamic jihadis. They are found on every inhabited continent. Major jihad organizations such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have repeatedly called upon Muslims to murder Americans.
By contrast, there is no global network of “right-wing extremists,” and they have not called for the indiscriminate murder of American civilians.
As ubiquitous as this propaganda is, insistent repetitions of Big Lies doesn’t make them true – even when they’re repeated by that saintly victim, Ilhan Omar, and her obliging establishment media stooges.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.