Networks Cite 12 Times NSA Stopped Terror; No Mention of Islam

You’d think it would be news when adherents of “the religion of peace” do something, well, not peaceful. But then, you’d be underestimating the reluctance of the U.S. news media to call Islamic terror what it is. Case in point: ABC, NBC and CBS all reported on the multiple terrorist attacks the NSA’s surveillance program supposedly thwarted, they censored the religious connection: radical Islam.

When top security officials testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday about terror attacks discovered due to NSA’s global surveillance system, the networks raced to relay the news. All three broadcast networks described the various terror plans a total of 12 times on June 18 and 19. Not once did they mention the perpetrators were radical Muslims.

The networks brought up the 9/11 attacks – even Al Qaeda – but refused to say “Islam” or “Muslim.” George Stephanopoulos, during ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” on June 18, introduced the NSA defense as, “An apparent success story, forcefully delivered, as memories of 9/11 filled the hearing room.” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell did the same and described two of the terror attacks on “Nightly News,” saying one man, “was channeling money to Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen,” while another was “allegedly financing a terror group in Somalia.” CBS “Evening News” mentioned both 9/11 and Al Qaeda – but still kept silent on the religious motivation.

The one incident featured by each network noted Khalid Oauzzani, a Moroccan-born naturalized U.S. citizen, who plotted with a Yemeni extremist to bomb the New York Stock Exchange. The charging documents explained how the Yemeni man, a “self proclaimed career jihadist,” communicated with Oauzzani who “aspired to support violent extremist Islamic causes since at least 2003.”

New York came up again in a terrorist scheme to release explosives in the subway system. Najibullah Zazi, the main conspirator, happened to once attend an Al Qaeda training camp and dreamed of joining the Taliban.  

In another U.S. case, Imam Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud, along with Basaaly Sayeed Moalin, Ahmed Nasiri Taalil Mohamud, and Issa Doreh funneled thousands to al-Shabaab, a Somali-based group charged with suicide bombings, beheadings, kidnappings, and other attacks. The group holds radical Islamist beliefs and fosters strong connections to Al Qaeda. 

Further NSA sleuthing caught David Headley, or, by another name, Daood Gilani, a devout Muslim who joined the Islamic militant group Lashkar-i-Taiba, in 2002. He headed a massacre in Mumbai which resulted in 166 fatalities – 6 of them American – as well as a planned a bomb attack on a Denmark Newspaper.  

But then, when it comes to Islam, the networks have had plenty of practice omitting the religion factor with Islam. After all, the Obama administration officially called the Ft. Hood shooting an act of “workplace violence.”

Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture at the Media Research Center