AP Refuses To The Word 'Terrorist' To Describe al-Shabab Attacks

Recently the Associated Press removed "illegal immigrant" from its style manual while revising its guidelines for using "Islamist," saying it shouldn't be used “as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists."  Well, it seems the AP is also a little gun shy with using the term "terrorist" or "terrorism" to describe deadly attacks by radical Islamic groups.

On Sunday, the Supreme Court of Somalia was attacked in an assault that last two hours and cost 35 lives. The Somalian terrorist group Al-Shabab -- which is sympathetic with and has ties to al-Qaeda -- claims responsibility. Yet even as the AP tagged this the “most serious extremist attack on Mogadishu in years,” it failed to use the T-word to describe the attack as a terrorist strike, even though AP reporters Abdi Guled and Jason Straziuso quoted a British Foreign Office travel warning from Friday that forecast that "terrorists [were] in the final stages of planning attacks in Mogadishu."

What's more, the prime minister of Somalia certainly considers the attack as a terrorist strike.

“We are concerned about the foreign involvement in this attack and this is why we are working so hard with our international partners on security and intelligence sharing. Once again we see that terrorism is an international problem,’ [Prime Minister Abdi Farah] Shirdon said in a statement.  

The Washington Post's Abdi Guled and Jason Straziuso, in today's print edition, noted the United States National Counterterrorism Center website notes that al Shabab "is responsible for the assassination of Somali peace activists, international aid workers, numerous civil society figures, and journalists" as well as having "[blocked] the delivery of aid from some Western relief agencies during the 2011 famine that killed tens of thousands of Somalis."