Home SaveTheWest’s Debunking of HuffPost’s Domestic Terrorism Report

SaveTheWest’s Debunking of HuffPost’s Domestic Terrorism Report


October 2017

A special report for SaveTheWest by Jon Sutz


(1) Executive summary of our report

(2) Our report’s table of contents, with section overviews

(3) The PDF of our report

(4) Praise for our report from noted experts

(1) Executive summary of our report

On June 23, 2017, the Huffington Post (“HuffPost”) published on its front page a report with the headline, “Most of America’s Terrorists Are White, and Not Muslim; Right-wing terror is real, and it’s a problem.” The following is a screencap from HuffPost’s front page:

HuffPost left this report on its front page for nineteen straight days, until July 11, 2017.

In summary, HuffPost’s report claims:

  • White right-wing extremists perpetrated nearly twice as many terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 2008-2016 as Muslim extremists (121 incidents vs. 63)
  • Left-wing terror (19 incidents) is comparatively non-existent.

SaveTheWest conducted a thorough analysis of HuffPost’s claims, and found them to be demonstrably false, or at best, egregiously decontextualized. The reality is that:

  • Of the 119 domestic terror incidents over from 2008-2016 in which the perpetrator(s) and motive were identified, 67% were Islamists (35) and leftists (45) – not white right-wingers (39).
  • From 9/11 through year-end 2016, Islamist terrorists have killed almost twice as many Americans as white right-wingers (95 to 51).
  • While there are 60 times more white, non-Hispanic people than Muslims in America, Muslims are, proportionally, 54 times more likely to perpetrate terrorist attacks on American soil.
  • Sunni Muslims are, proportionally, four times more likely to perpetrate terrorist attacks on American soil than white right-wingers.

This incident follows another in 2016, in which Arianna Huffington promoted a HuffPost report, entitled “Muslims Are Not Terrorists,” despite the fact that its own data shows that during the period it cited, 94% of terror deaths were due to Muslim terrorism (details here and here).

The purpose of this SaveTheWest.com special report is to provide general audiences with a clear, verifiable means by which to validate that (a) Our allegations are accurate, and in correct context; and (b) These are not isolated incidents; they are part of HuffPost’s long-term effort to deceive its readers about terrorism, religious, racial and law enforcement issues.

This report was researched, written and designed by Jon Sutz, under the supervision of SaveTheWest.com founder and president Kenneth Abramowitz. Submit inquiries to info@savethewest.com.

(2) Our report’s table of contents, with section overviews

Our report, in Section 3, is broken down into the following nine sections.  Here is an overview of each:

(1) Executive summary: Same as in Section 1.

(2) Overview of HuffPost and its report: Main contents include: Background on HuffPost’s massive global reach and influence, and claims to be a nonpartisan, professional news organization; The specific claims made in its report; and proof of how long it left this report on its front page.

(3) Initial evidence to suspect that HuffPost’s report is not credible: Main categories:

(1) HuffPost chose to visually depict a Bernie Sanders supporter, who apparently suffers from some kind of mental illness, as its featured image to depict “white right-wing terrorism”

(2) Reasonable suspicion of left-wing bias by the producers of the underlying report

(3) The report cites an array of supporting links, some of which lead to useful data, and some which do not — but none paint a complete, clear picture as to how the data was constructed

(4) HuffPost’s long history of employing lies, half-truths and egregious distortions to deceive its readers

(4) SaveTheWest.com’s key research into this matter with the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database (UMD-GTD): We used the UMD’s GTD as our baseline for analyzing incidents, as it is one of the most widely-used databases in this realm.  However, we found several issues that needed addressing, and adjusting, prior to building our analysis.  Among the most important of these issues were:

(1) The UMD-GTD classifies hate crimes, such as physical assaults and property vandalism targeting Muslims and black Americans as terrorism – but it almost invariably excludes identical, documented attacks on Jews from its database.  To compensate for this, we inserted verified incidents that were perpetrated against Jews during the time period in question (2008-2016), to ensure each of these groups are accurately represented.

(2) We focused only on incidents in which the perpetrators were identified and motivations determined, to ensure accuracy.  The reason for this is that in a number of cases that the UMD-GTD classifies as terrorist acts, such as when four mosques were firebombed in one day in New York City, one might automatically assume that these acts were perpetrated by a white rightwinger.  In reality, the acts were perpetrated by a black drug offender, reportedly because one of the mosques refused his request to use its restroom.

(5) The key findings of our research: See Executive Summary in Section 1.  In this section, we provide the reader with the specific methodology we employed to arrive at these numbers, with links so the curious and skeptics can see exactly where we got our data, and how we interpreted it.  It should be noted that HuffPost did none of this in its report, and as our report describes, the sub-organizations that constructed the bulk of it did not, either.

(6) Conclusion: HuffPost’s report was not an error, but rather, was the latest in its long history of peddling false or deceptive materials, as “news.” Further, HuffPost failed to even respond to an offer from a terrorism expert to explain why their report was so incorrect, and why it should be corrected — despite it making public statements claiming it “covers the world’s stories from every viewpoint,” and that it wants to tell “the stories of people who have been left out of the conversation.”

(7) REFERENCE 1: How we constructed our data set: The specific methodology we employed to approach our analysis, made transparent to the reader, with supporting links.

(8) REFERENCE 2: Our data set from the UMD-GTD, modified as indicated in 7: The complete data set, with links to the documentation of each cited incident.

(9) ADDENDUM: Examples of HuffPost ignoring, downplaying or whitewashing Islamist terror attacks, plots and arrests: While HuffPost gives top, detailed coverage to allegations of hate crimes and terrorism against people in groups it favors, it consistently ignores, downplays or whitewashes hate crimes and terrorist acts that are perpetrated by Islamists (Muslim supremacists).  This section documents a number of such incidents, including:

(1) October 2017: HuffPost completely ignored the indictment of an American ISIS supporter, with two foreigners, for their plot to mount a massive terrorist attack on Times Square and nearby subways and music venues

(2) June 2016: HuffPost whitewashed the Pulse nightclub attack — then ignored the fact that two months earlier, an imam preached in Orlando, that Muslims must murder gays

(3) November 2015: HuffPost rewrote a Reuters wire service headline to remove the fact that Palestinian terrorists murdered a American citizen in Israel, and instead, to imply that it was an Israeli attack

(3) The PDF of our report



(4) Praise for our report from noted experts