Who is the terrorist?

CuriousLurker7/23/2011 4:34:47 pm PDT

Excellent post, oslogin. Thank you, and thanks to the reader who did the translation.

It’s very good to see that there are people who are aware that focusing too narrowly on terrorism from radical Islamists is a huge mistake and something that will be exploited. Extremism and the terrorism it can breed aren’t somehow genetic or restricted to certain cultures or ideologies, much as people may wish otherwise.

Yes, in recent decades jihadists have carried out a huge number of attacks around the world, and in recent years probably a the majority of them. One thing I’d like to point out is that if you look at the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center’s most recent report form 2009 (PDF), you’ll see that the majority of deaths—approximately 2/3 according to the pie chart—were caused by armed attacks & bombing, which is exactly what ABB did.

In light of yesterday’s events, and in light of the fact that 100% of terrorist attacks are not perpetrated by radical Islamists, the statistics that chill me the most are these (emphasis mine):

Victims and Targets of Attacks

As has been the case since 2005, substantial numbers of victims of terrorist attacks in 2009 were Muslim.

• Almost 48,000 individuals worldwide were either killed or injured by terrorist attacks in 2009. Based upon a combination of reporting and demographic analysis of the countries involved, well over 50 percent of the victims were Muslims, and most were victims of Sunni extremist attacks in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Open source reporting largely identifies victims as civilians — approximately two-thirds of almost 48,000 killed or injured.
As such, the fidelity of victim types is difficult to obtain, but the fragmented reporting on it does yield some insights about the demographics of these victims.

• Police officers were a favored terrorist target, accounting for 14 percent of the total killed and wounded in 2009.

Government officials, employees and contractors killed and wounded from terrorist attacks doubled from 2008 and accounted for five percent of the total victims.

• The press experienced its single worst day in history on November 23rd in a terrorist massacre in the Philippines that killed 34 members of the media, the largest number of reporters ever killed in a single incident.

As far as I know, 100% of ABB’s victims were either civilians or members of the government. While there may have been some victims of the attack in Oslo that were foreign tourists, the vast majority (if not all) of the victims were also Norwegian, or at least culturally very similar.

Perhaps my logic is faulty, but to me it follows that if the majority of the victims of radical Islamist terrorism are Muslim, and that radical right-wingers like ABB are starting to adopt similar tactics & targets, then those radical right-wingers pose a much more significant threat to people in the West than any jihadist. In fact, they will do the jihadist’s work for them.