Released June 15, 2000
The Wisdom Fund, P. O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA 22202
Website: -- Press Contact: Enver Masud

Commission Hypes Terrorism, Doubles Budget

by Enver Masud

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- While U.S. government statistics indicate that terrorism is declining, L. Paul Bremer III, Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism, in the June 2000 report to Congress, says the threat of terrorism is "becoming more deadly," and recommends actions which would further erode American's civil liberties.

Created in the wake of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, the commission's recommendations include greater monitoring of foreign students, sanctions against Greece and Pakistan, and adding Afghanistan to the list of countries designated a "state sponsor" of terrorism. The list currently includes Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, North Korea and Cuba.

The U.S. is "not considering sanctions" against Greece or Pakistan says U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Larry Johnson, a counter terrorism expert who appeared with Mr. Bremer on WETA NewsHour on June 6, challenges the commission's findings.

Mr. Johnson says, "we had no problem as a country sanctioning Hezbollah and Hamas, but one of the terrorist groups that was left off the list of designated terrorist groups...was the Irish Republican Army. The message we sent to the world is if you're Irish Catholic, it's okay to be a terrorist. If you're a Muslim, that's bad."

Mr. Johnson also disagrees that the threat of terrorism is "becoming more deadly." He says "the number of deaths fell from 4,800 in the 80s to 2,500 this last decade." Government statistics confirm a steady decline in terrorism.

In Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1998, the U.S. Department of State says, "the number of international terrorist attacks actually fell again in 1998, continuing a downward trend that began several years ago."

Updating this 1998 report with 1999 data, "Total U.S. Citizen Casualties Caused by International Attacks" are as follows: the number of those killed each year from 1993 through 1999 is 7, 6, 10, 25, 6, 12, 5; the number of those wounded during these same years is 1004, 5, 60, 510, 21, 11, 6.

Perhaps, the more interesting statistic, as far as "Islamic terrorism" is concerned, is "Total Anti-U.S. Attacks--1999" which lists attacks by region as follows: Africa--16, Asia--6, Eurasia--9, Latin America--96, Middle East--11, North America--1, and West Europe--30.

Given the statistics for the Middle East and Latin America, one wonders why one doesn't hear about "Christian terrorism," at least as often as one hears about "Islamic terrorism."

Furthermore, "To call terrorism a threat to national security is scarcely plausible," say John Mueller and Karl Mueller ("Sanctions of Mass Destruction," Foreign Affairs, May/June 1999, p. 43). They add, "On average far fewer Americans are killed each year by terrorists than are killed by lightning, deer accidents, or peanut allergies."

In fact, the U.S. may have more to fear from American terrorists than foreign. On April 19, 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 168 citizens and injuring hundreds. This attack was the deadliest terrorist event ever committed on U.S. soil.

But as long as there's money to be made, and friends of the Zionists remain in control of key positions in the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government, they will perpetuate their self-serving myths--leaving Americans vulnerable to the realities. For this year, the budget for counter terrorism was doubled to $10 billion.

[Enver Masud is an engineering management consultant, author of "The War on Islam," and founder of The Wisdom]

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