Under Trump, Can We Trust the Government’s Terrorism Data?


The Center on National Security’s report on ISIS prosecutions in the United States was mentioned in a WTVA article.

CNN review of the eight cases actually named in Tuesday’s report found that “several of the individuals had lived in the United States for many years before committing the terror-related offenses they were eventually convicted for in federal court.”

The data Stephen Miller cited in February to defend the travel ban included the case of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who came to the United States when he was a young child and who was arrested and convicted of plotting to attack a Christmas tree ceremony in Portland, Oregon, more than a decade after he came to the United States.


The citation of the case was not just Miller using misleading data that happened to include Mohamud. The Mohamud case was specifically cited to defend the travel ban in a set of frequently asked questions on the ban that was posted by the US Department of Homeland Security.


Meanwhile, the data being cited by the Trump administration contrasts with that collected by the nonpartisan research institution, New America, which found that about half of the 420 individuals accused of jihadist terrorism crimes in the United States since 9/11 were born American citizens and that 85% were either US citizens or legal permanent residents.

While the government may assert it has access to better data or secret information, New America’s conclusions are supported by other examinations of the origins of American terrorists, including from the RAND Corporation and the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, both of which also found about half of the jihadist terrorists they examined to have been born American citizens.


With the repeated misleading claims by an administration set upon defending a policy that was seemingly crafted to defend candidate Trump’s call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” the question must be asked: Can the government’s claims regarding the terrorist threat be trusted?

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