Ahmad Khan Rahami is America’s newest face of terrorism. The 28-year old Afghan-born naturalized U.S. citizen faces multiple federal charges in connection to Saturday’s bomb blasts in New York and New Jersey.
No one was killed and there were no life-threatening injuries among the 31 people hurt. But the blasts shook the psyche of a nation in the middle of a presidential campaign in which terrorism, immigration and being Muslim are at the center of the heated discourse.
National security will be among the issues on the table for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in Monday’s first presidential debate. Voters will be eagerly watching how they balance fears with facts.
The Truth About Foreign-Born Domestic Terrorists
Alex Nowrasteh – The National Interest
Foreigners, whether as immigrants or those in the country temporarily, are disproportionately responsible for killing people in terrorist attacks. According to my paper’s findings, 88 percent of all Americans killed on U.S. soil in terrorist attacks were killed by foreign-born terrorists….About 98.6 percent of the victims, 2,983, were murdered on 9/11….
However, the danger posed by the actual foreign-born terrorist threat shows that perspective is sorely needed. During the time period studied in Cato’s report, more than 1.13 billion foreigners entered the United States legally or illegally. Thus, 7.4 million foreigners entered the United States for every single terrorist—including those who were unsuccessful in carrying out their attacks….
The chance of being murdered in a terrorist attack committed by a foreigner on U.S. soil is one in 3.6 million a year….The chance of being murdered in a regular homicide is one in fourteen thousand a year, which is 253 times as great as dying in a terrorist attack committed by a foreigner on U.S. soil.
What Is Terrorism, and and Is it Getting Worse?
Frederic Lemieux – The Conversation
Terrorism is not more frequent today than few decades ago.
Worldwide, terrorism is highly concentrated in a handful of countries. According to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, terrorist attacks in 2014 were mainly concentrated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria. These countries saw 78 percent of the deaths and 57 percent of all attacks in the world.
Trump’s Winning Terrorism Narrative
James S. Robbins – USA Today
For more than a year, Donald Trump has been raising an alarm about the upswing of terrorism in the United States, promising to address it head-on without any of Washington’s usual political pieties. Jargon-laden responses to terror attacks from the White House and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign only tend to confirm Trump voters’ worst fears about the Washington establishment, rather than build support for the Obama-Clinton approach to fighting the Islamic State terrorist group….
The problem isn’t an image-driven contest of conflicting narratives; it is a fundamental failure to secure America from violent radicals.
Not Letting Terrorism Distort our Lives, Values and Politics
Walter Shapiro – Roll Call
In the midst of the only presidential election shaped by terrorism, John Kerry gave an interview to Matt Bai of The New York Times in the fall of 2004 that was simultaneously shrewd and politically maladroit.
Asked what it would take for Americans to again feel safe after 9/11, (John) Kerry said, “We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance.”…
But viewed from a perspective of 12 years, Kerry was more right than wrong. No one is going to describe the pressure-cooker bombs that could have killed dozens of New Yorkers last weekend as a nuisance. Yet only alarmists would liken the accused bomber, who apparently worked alone, with the 19 disciplined and fanatical hijackers who flew jets into the twin towers and the Pentagon.