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Terrorism

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  • Daily Beast: FBI fired Trump adviser and frequent Fox News guest Sebastian Gorka for “anti-Muslim diatribes”

    “A senior FBI official assured outraged and embarrassed colleagues that the bureau would no longer use Gorka”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Donald Trump adviser, frequent Fox News guest, and former Breitbart editor Sebastian Gorka was fired by the FBI, who was paying him to give lectures on counterterrorism issues, due to “his over-the-top Islamophobic rhetoric.” Gorka, who has come under fire for being a “sworn member” of a “Nazi-allied” Hungarian group, has also defended claims that President Barack Obama was the “founder” of ISIS, blamed Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Pulse nightclub shooting, and blamed Obama for veteran suicides.

    In a June 21 story, The Daily Beast reports the FBI “ended its contract with Gorka just months before he joined the White House as a senior adviser to President Trump.” Gorka was fired after he “told attendees at the Joint Terrorism Operations Course … that all Muslims adhere to sharia law, which he said is in conflict with the U.S. Constitution and American democratic values.” The Daily Beast reported that after these remarks, “a senior FBI official assured outraged and embarrassed colleagues that the bureau would no longer use Gorka for any subsequent lectures or instructions”:

    The inflammatory pundit Sebastian Gorka worked for the FBI while he was a paid consultant to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, lecturing bureau employees on counterterrorism issues.

    Until the FBI terminated Gorka for his over-the-top Islamophobic rhetoric.

    The Daily Beast has learned that the Federal Bureau of Investigation ended its contract with Gorka just months before he joined the White House as a senior adviser to President Trump.

    [...]

    Gorka told attendees at the Joint Terrorism Operations Course, an introductory-level class for participants in the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces, that all Muslims adhere to sharia law, which he said is in conflict with the U.S. constitution and American democratic values. Officials familiar with his lecture said Gorka taught law-enforcement officials there is no such thing as mainstream Muslims—only those radicalized and those soon to be radicalized.

    The following month, a senior FBI official assured outraged and embarrassed colleagues that the bureau would no longer use Gorka for any subsequent lectures or instructions, according to documents reviewed by The Daily Beast.

  • NRATV calls London attack on Muslims a "maybe attack"

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Hours after police called an attack on pedestrians outside a Finsbury Park mosque in north London an act of terrorism, the National Rifle Association’s news outlet, NRATV, attempted to cast doubt on that determination. During the 10 am edition of his June 19 show, host Grant Stinchfield claimed that “something just seems odd” about the attack and referred to the violent incident as a “maybe attack.” London Metropolitan Police declared that the attack was an act of terrorism eight minutes after a 48 year-old-man drove a van into a crowd of people outside a mosque, killing one and injuring ten. Despite this, Stinchfield said that he would “like to get more information about what really happened there.” From the June 19 edition of NRATV’s Stinchfield

    GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): I was going to first ask you about the maybe attack in London, where again we had a van drive through folks it appears, in front of a mosque. What do you make of early this morning's events?

    DAN PERKINS: Well it's interesting, it’s 180 degrees from the last one. This attack was civilians on the Muslims. They ran into, right outside of a mosque as people were coming out from the worship services for Ramadan. And the guy was shouting, basically he was saying, "it's our turn, this is for the people [that] you killed earlier.” So he was specifically out after Muslims, not after British citizens, per say. But in retaliation for the recent attacks in London. One guy decided he was going to do something about it, and he ran his van, he killed one person and injured a bunch of others. But it was at a mosque in London.

    STINCHFIELD: Alright, so we see an escalating number of attacks, as that is still under investigation. And I would like to get more information about what really happened there, as it’s still very early in this investigation. But something just seems odd about the whole thing to me.

    Immediately after two previous attacks in London, in March and in June, Stinchfield used the violent events to advocate for increased gun ownership both in the U.S. and in the U.K. -- going so far as to calling unarmed victims “sheep.”

  • NRATV uses London attack to push for more guns, all but ignores Orlando mass shooting

    Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    The National Rifle Association’s news outlet NRATV used Saturday night’s terror attack in London to push a variety of conservative and pro-Second Amendment talking points, including calling for surveilling mosques and arming British citizens.

    Seven people were killed in London on June 3, after three assailants used a vehicle to run into pedestrians on the London Bridge and then got out of the van to attack other victims with knives in nearby Borough Market. About 50 people were injured before police shot and killed all three suspects. Saturday’s attack came 12 days after a suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert which left 22 dead, and a little over two months after a March attack in London that left four dead.

    While NRATV program Stinchfield, which provides live news updates at the top of the hour from 9 a.m. EST to 1 p.m. EST, offered significant coverage of the London attack on June 5, the show ignored a mass shooting that took place that morning in Orlando, FL. (The Orlando incident was briefly mentioned on the NRA’s talk radio program, which airs later in the day.)

    Covering the Orlando attack would have brought the nonsensical nature of the NRA’s arguments surrounding guns and terrorism into clear focus: The United States has much more permissive gun laws and availability compared to the U.K. and as a consequence experiences much higher rates of gun homicide and homicide generally. 

    NRATV spun London attack to push for more gun ownership 

    While first reporting on the latest London attack during the June 5 9 a.m. edition of Stinchfield, host Grant Stinchfield said that just one armed police officer could have stopped the “carnage” and asked, “When is London going to wake up?” Stinchfield went on to fearmonger that it is “only a matter of time before these things start happening here on a regular basis” and blamed the attack on “politically correct politicians” before suggesting British citizens should carry guns to stop attacks. From the June 5 update:

    GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): It took just eight minutes for three Islamic jihadists to kill seven people and wound nearly 50 more. Eight minutes. They didn’t use guns, but a truck and some knives. The reality of this attack is one police officer could have stopped this early on. What few people are talking about is that the attackers came upon the first officer just after exiting their van on the London Bridge, after running over so many unsuspecting Londoners. We have to assume the officer, like so many in England, was unarmed. The attacker stabbed him and then moved on to attack others. When is London going to wake up?

    [...]

    STINCHFIELD: It is only a matter of time before these things start happening here on a regular basis. We already see them happening in the United States. Now, since March, in London there have been three attacks and 34 people dead. In Europe the terrorists are winning. Submissive policies by submissive, politically correct politicians are getting people killed. How many times does America need to be warned? Does the world need to be warned these evil jihadists are for real? And they are brutal killers? As I watched Londoners flee in panic, I thought in that crowd of thousands, not one citizen had a chance. Not one citizen had a gun because the government bars them from having one. It took eight minutes for armed officers to arrive and save the day with a simple tool called a firearm. Eight minutes of carnage that could have been stopped if only that first officer was armed in the early seconds of that attack. [NRATV, Stinchfield, 6/5/17]

    During the 11 a.m. update, Stinchfield again turned his attention to the citizens of England, who, he said, could not defend themselves “because the government disarmed them all.” He referred to this as “delusional” before slamming a British man as an “idiot” who was photographed “running away from the terror with a beer in his hand.” Stinchfield went on to claim that the British government has “made him this way” and “tricked” him into thinking he is safe, before rhetorically asking, “How sad is that?”

    GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): For too long, left-wing leaders failed to realize that radical jihad is a real threat. Now in Europe, attacks are nearly a daily occurrence. With Saturday night’s attack in London, terrorists have killed 34 people in England since mid-March, and wounded countless more. All of this should serve as a global wake-up call. For Americans, these daily attacks are soon to come here. Are you ready? England was not. Look at the people fleeing. Not one could stop the attacker or defend themselves because the government disarmed them all. Now in the height of English delusion, England is hailing a probable drunk as its national hero. Look at the man running from the terror with a beer in his hand. The people of England thinks the terrorist won’t deter him. To me, anyone under attack who hangs on to a beer is simply an idiot, not a hero. But his government made him this way. They tricked him into thinking he is safe. So safe, the attack he is fleeing couldn’t really be real to him or a danger. My guess is, he looks at all of this as it’s simply some kind of office fire drill. How sad is that? How sad is that’s their hero, not the first police officer to come face-to-face with a terrorist just seconds into the attack. That police officer couldn’t be a hero, because he never stood a chance. He was unarmed. The jihadist stabbed him and moved on to attack so many others. For eight minutes they had their way until what? An armed unit showed up and killed them. [NRATV, Stinchfield, 6/5/17]

    NRATV also took issue with London police’s suggested response to the attack. Police sent out a tweet on Saturday night advising people to “run,” “hide,” and “call” authorities in case of an attack. The strategy has previously been promoted by England’s National Police Chiefs Council, which said that during an attack, “people should first run to a place of safety,” or hide if they can’t, and call the police when it is safe to do so. (In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security recommends that in an active shooting situation, people first try to evacuate, then hide, and then confront the attacker as a last resort.)

    During the June 5 1 p.m. update, NRATV commentator Bill Whittle called this strategy a “passive, weak kind of reaction” that only encourages the terrorists. During the June 5 10 a.m. update, Stinchfield said that “one armed citizen could have stopped the carnage early on” and that a better strategy for the people of England would be to “hide, fight, and fight,” before claiming, “Cowards always lose, sheep always get slaughtered. With the ever increasing threat we face, ... I refuse to become a coward or a sheep.”

    Stinchfield doubled down on his stance in a June 5 tweet, saying his message to England is to “be a fighter!”:

    [Twitter, 6/5/17]

    Beyond pushing more permissive guns laws, during the 9 a.m. update, Stinchfield said that the government in the United States should “surveil” mosques.

    NRATV hosts barely mentioned Orlando mass shooting

    During all of NRATV’s June 5 Stinchfield updates, neither Stinchfield nor his guests brought up Monday’s attack in Orlando, which left five people including the gunman dead. NRATV host Cam Edwards mentioned the attack briefly during his three-hour show, but used it to push for more gun ownership.

    UK actually has drastically lower rates of gun violence than US

    Despite Stinchfield’s repeated claim that the U.K. was unprepared for the attack because the government has “disarmed” its people, the country actually has drastically lower rates of gun homicide and homicide generally compared to the U.S. The U.K. also has much more restrictive gun laws.

    Firearms are used in more than two-thirds of homicides in the United States. High gun availability has been linked to increased gun homicide rates, with one review of academic research finding that “case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the U.S., where there are more guns, both men and women are at a higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.” (The same trend is seen in comparisons between high-income countries.)

    Academic research has also found that guns are used in the U.S. far more often to commit crimes than to stop crimes. A 2000 study by Harvard Injury Research Control Center found that as a ratio, "guns are used to threaten and intimidate far more often than they are used in self defense. Most self reported self defense gun uses may well be illegal and against the interests of society."

    In fact, the odds of people needing a gun to protect themselves are so low that it’s difficult to accurately measure the total number of defensive gun uses each year. Meanwhile, gun violence is so frequent in the United States that more than 100,000 gunshot injuries are recorded every year (a figure that does not include crimes committed with guns where no one is shot).

    In contrast to a lack of evidence that civilians can effectively use guns to stop mass shootings -- a frequent claim that the NRA makes -- terror attacks involving firearms in the United States, which often involve AR-15-style assault weapons, have been incredibly deadly over the years. A December 2015 terror attack in San Bernardino, CA, involved a gunman shooting and killing 14 and wounding 22 with an assault rifle at an office holiday party. The perpetrator of a June 2016 terror attack in a nightclub in Orlando, FL, also used an assault weapon to kill 49 people and wound at least 53.

  • Fox host pushes raids on mosques based on no-go zone lie that previously caused network international embarrassment

    Eric Bolling claims we should "look into the mosques" in "Muslim no-go zones where local cops in France and in Great Britain don't go"

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    Fox News host Eric Bolling pushed the myth of “no-go” zones in England, a claim that previously caused international embarrassment for the network which they were forced to admit was a lie.

    In January 2015, two Fox News hosts were forced to apologize for pushing the myth of so-called “no-go zones” in Europe, “places where non-Muslims don’t go” that are governed by Sharia law. Fox’s baseless "no-go zone" claims led to international embarrassment for the network, with former British Prime Minister David Cameron saying the claims were made by a “complete idiot.” Jeanine Pirro and Julie Banderas apologized on-air for hyping the claim, with Julie Banderas admitting there was “no credible information to support the assertion.”

    Two years later, Eric Bolling is taking the lie one step further, claiming authorities should “look into the mosques” in “ Muslim no-go zones where local cops in France and in Great Britain don’t go into these neighborhoods and they let them actually practice Sharia law.” From the June 5 edition of Fox News’ The Specialists:

    ERIC BOLLING (HOST): A few years ago I was on a show and, about five or six years ago on The Five and a guest comes on, there was a terror attack, and the guest talks about the Muslim no-go zones in Europe. He got in a whole crap-load of trouble for saying it. To suggest that there was no-go zones. Now we are finding out in fact there are Muslim -- radical Islamic Muslim no-go zones where local cops in France and in Great Britain don't go into these neighborhoods and they let them actually practice Sharia law. Part of this is PC culture gone amok in Europe.

    […]

    How do you not step up and say, “no we're going to knock down doors in these no-go zones, and we’re going to pull people out, and we’re going to look into the mosques?