Terrorism

Jeff Sessions Cooks the Books on Terrorism

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

The Jeff Sessions Justice Department released a report last week that sought to frame terrorism as an immigration problem by citing data from the Department of Homeland Security that says two-thirds of foreign terrorists are immigrants, but that data doesn't actually exist.

According to the Daily Beast, which first reported the news last night, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not contributed to Jeff Sessions' report and the data cited by the report isn't recorded by DHS.

According to a government source familiar with the episode, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ office took charge of the report’s assemblage of statistics—which some terrorism analysts consider highly misleading—and sent it to DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen for her imprimatur after it was all but finalized. [...]

Career professional analysts at DHS communicated to the Justice Department that the data sought for the report simply did not exist within their department. DHS, multiple sources said, does not track or correlate international terrorism data by citizenship or country of origin, and have warned the Trump administration that doing so risks a misleading portrait of both terrorism and immigration.

Creating a "misleading portrait of both terrorism and immigration" is clearly the objective of doing something like this. That is not a merely a "risk," it's their unmistakable intent.

Trying to use terrorism to scare people has a very familiar Bush-era feel to it but, at the same time, the Bush administration did not use terrorism to justify the mass deportation of harmless immigrants or to place new limits on legal immigration.

Whether intentional or unintentional, this report could also be used to downplay the threat of homegrown, domestic terrorism which is a much bigger threat that foreign terrorism.

As of this writing, a manhunt is currently underway in Florida for a "middle-aged white male with a heavy build" who planted pipe bombs outside a J.C. Penney near Orlando.