Many of the attacks listed featured days-long coverage in global press.
The White House has published a list of several dozen terror attacks that it contends were insufficiently covered by the media, including those in Paris, Nice and Orlando that made headlines around the world.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday accused the “very, very dishonest” media of not wanting to cover terrorist attacks, adding without elaboration, “They have their reasons.” He leveled the charge during a visit to the headquarters of the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida, but provided no specifics.
The White House followed up late Monday with a list of 78 attacks carried out between September 2014 and December 2016. “Since ISIS declared a caliphate, there has been a major attack targeting the West executed or inspired by the group more than once every two weeks,” the White House said. “Most have not received the attention they deserve,” it added.
Some media outlets have countered by posting links to their extensive coverage of attacks cited by the White House. The list gives the place and month in which an attack occurred, the number of dead or wounded, and the names of the attackers. But it does not give any attacker’s nationality except when he or she is a “U.S. person,” and then the White House does not identify them by name even when their identities are well known.
Many of the attacks listed, particularly those with high casualties, were the subject of days-long coverage, and were so well known they are still short-handed by the cities where they occurred: Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, Orlando. The crash in the Sinai desert of an Airbus A321 carrying Russian tourists on Oct. 31, 2015 made the list. Claimed by Islamic State, the crash caused by a bomb explosion after takeoff killed 224 people.
So did the Nov. 13, 2015 attacks in Paris that left 129 dead, and the truck rampage in Nice July 14, 2016 that killed another 84.
But the list omits the attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Jan. 7, 2015, which claimed 12 lives. However, the lethal attacks the following day on a policeman and at a supermarket, in which four people were killed, are listed.
Among the U.S. terror attacks, the White House lists the country’s deadliest since September 11, 2001—the bloody assault at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2001 that left 49 dead. The perpetrator of the attack—Omar Mateen, an American of Afghan origin—is given only as “U.S. person.”
Also on the list is the December 2015 shooting in San Bernardino, California by a husband and wife who killed 14 people in a massacre allegedly inspired by Islamic terror groups. They also are identified as “U.S. persons.”
The list includes other attacks that received massive media coverage at the time: Istanbul (45 dead) in June 2016; Sousse, Tunisia (38 dead) in June 2015; Brussels (31 dead) March 2016; Dacca, Bangladesh (22 dead) in July, 2016; and Berlin (12 dead) in December.
The president’s latest salvo against the media comes amid a raging legal battle over his travel ban on refugees and nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The new administration says the executive order denying U.S. entry to refugees, and nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, is needed to protect the country against terror attacks.
Opponents of the action say the measure stigmatizes Muslims and fuels Islamic State’s anti-Western propaganda.