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1 theheat  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 9:09:28am
“Though Muslims represent about 1 percent of the American population, they constitute defendants in 186 of the 228 cases DOJ lists.”

No, I don't believe that is correct. While their may be a significant number of radical Muslims as defendants in terrorism cases, American Muslims are not the statistical majority. They aren't the same critter, but it impedes the hysteria message to make that distinction.

And that rules out virtually all terror coming from the domestic American radical right — Klansmen, neo-Nazis, antigovernment “Patriots” and others — in recent history. The SPLC has documented close to 75 such plots since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, but virtually none of them would get on to the list that the IPT chose to focus on.

I think a quick visit to SPLC's hate map gives a much more comprehensive overview of dangerous groups throughout the country. Quite honestly, any day's political news is going to have a "Christian" mouthpiece spewing all kinds of crazy, radical, hateful shit. American Muslims? Not so much.

2 Charles Johnson  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:49:47pm

I got an email from the IPT about this Page, requesting that I post their response to the SPLC article. So in the interest of fairness, here it is:

Robert Steinback’s March 23 posting, “Steve Emerson, Backing King Hearings, Pushes Misleading Statistic on Muslim Terrorism,” completely mischaracterizes our story on Department of Justice terrorism prosecution data and omits a number of things we wrote that contradict his basic premise.

Many of his criticisms minimize significant caveats and statements of context we purposely included by noting where they appear in the story. Yet, the fact that they appear at all disproves Steinback’s central thesis – that we endeavored to publish a propaganda piece intended to smear Muslims.

He attempts to undercut our statistics by writing, “If the DOJ wasn’t involved, it didn’t get counted.” Well, yes, that is the point. Our story, which you can read here, made clear that the baseline was the DOJ list of successful terrorism prosecutions tied to international terrorism. That data included some cases of homegrown terrorism, but we made it clear that the DOJ data did not include terrorism tied to domestic groups, writing “The [DOJ] list emphasizes international terror, so groups like the Hutaree militia and eco-terrorists are not included.”

That’s still no good, Steinback writes, because it appeared 10 paragraphs into the story. But why mention it at all if our goal was baseless propaganda? In the next paragraph, Steinback makes a claim disproven by our story. He writes:

“In fact, the DOJ listed 403 cases, not the 228 figure that Emerson’s group mentions. In the remaining 175 cases, the IPT could not determine a suspect’s motivation, so the IPT simply excluded them from its analysis.” [Emphasis added]

This is dead wrong. It appears that Steinback never looked at the spreadsheet we posted to show which cases we included as Islamist in motivation, which we did not, and which were considered undetermined. Had he done so, it would have been clear that our research included all 403 cases listed by the DOJ. You can see it here.

The DOJ statistics were broken into two categories. As we explained in our story: ““The cases listed by DOJ are divided between those involving direct support for terrorist plots or organizations, and those where investigations ‘involved an identified link to international terrorism’ but the resulting indictments and complaints involved charges such as fraud, immigration violations, firearms, drugs, false statements and obstruction of justice.” [Emphasis added]

These defendants were located and/or brought into the United States for prosecution stemming from investigations that occurred, at least in significant or most part, within the United States. The defendants, by the nature of their terror or terror support or terror-linked activity, had, in some form or fashion, notable linkage to the United States. Steinback makes a specious attempt to claim these statistics are not that important because the defendants were mostly foreigners operating in foreign lands who happened to get snared up in some kind of adjunct DOJ case.

The 228 cases we cited in our lead include all 158 cases in the direct support category, plus 70 other cases in which we determined there was direct involvement with a terrorist organization or a homegrown plot. That includes the Fort Dix defendants and a fraud case involving a man who openly raised money for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Other examples included in the 228 figure include prosecutions of defendants tied to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionaries de Colombia (FARC) and the Tamil Tigers.

[continued next comment...]

3 Charles Johnson  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:51:54pm

Part 2:

We made it clear that we counted all the DOJ-listed cases combined, acknowledging that there was a huge amount in which we could not determine the political motivation. Factoring in all 403 cases, “an Islamist connection was found in at least 46 percent,” we wrote. “An almost equal percentage, however, involved cases listed by the DOJ as terror-related, but in which there was insufficient information to determine whether a person was tied to an Islamist cause. In many, it was unclear why the case was included on a list of terror-related prosecutions.”

Steinback’s article never mentions this. In fact, he claims we ignored those cases in which political motivation remained undetermined.

Steinback does cite our caveat that, though Muslims are disproportionately represented in DOJ terror prosecutions, the totals represent .0004 percent of the American Muslim community. We wrote “The DOJ list does not demonstrate that vast segments of the Muslim community constitute a threat to carry out terrorist attacks or support groups which do.”

If we wanted “Simply to defame Muslims, perhaps?” as Steinback wrote, such context never would have been in the story.

In pushing his propaganda theory, Steinback claims we cite “1% of Americans are Muslims and 80% of convictions in the DOJ cases were of Muslim radicals,” and the juxtaposition of those two statistics is “complete nonsense.”

When Steinback claims, “The numbers are married up simply to defame Muslims as radical jihadists,” that argument is simply specious.

What we said is, “Though Muslims represent about 1 percent of the American population, they constitute defendants in 186 of the 228 cases DOJ lists.” We have explained here our analysis of the case numbers. That Muslims constitute approximately 1% of the American population assumes an estimated 5 million Muslims, both citizens and non-citizens, who live in the United States. Our article never mentioned nor assumed any statistics based on nationality, nor did the DOJ report upon which our analysis was conducted.In addition, our first story after the King hearing was an essay by a Muslim American convert who walked away from radicalism. Had our intent been to stigmatize all, we would not seek out such voices. It is an IPT practice to showcase Muslims who take on the radical element and the self-anointed spokesman of a diverse community.

Among the examples:

Radical Islamists have made clear their intention to attack the United States. During the past three years, we’ve seen a dramatic spike in cases involving U.S. citizens, radicalized by the preaching and encouragement of figures like Anwar al-Awlaki and Omar Hammami, actively trying to carry out attacks.

The DOJ data shows that terror-support activities have been happening here for years. That is noteworthy.


4 Charles Johnson  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:52:10pm

Part 3:

Many of the misconceptions could have been avoided. Steinback did send a list of questions to us Tuesday, but did not define whether it was for a blog or for the SPLC’s Intelligence Report. He defined no deadline and offered no indication of when he intended to publish. Nor did he ever call or alert us to the fact that a story was imminent. We were drafting a response to his questions and even sent him a note indicating he would send that to him Thursday morning. He has not even replied to that with a courtesy notice that his story already was posted.

That too is disappointing. Had he made any attempt to alert us, we could have explained the flaws in his reasoning we’ve noted.

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