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  • Just Another Random Crime by Arab Muslims?

    Posted by Jonathan on September 29th, 2004 (All posts by )

    Reuters is on the case. The key sentence:

    The attacker said he was Algerian, police said.

    Those wacky Algerians! Of course it could have been anyone who randomly attacked an airplane crew with an axe: a Chinese, a Brazilian, an orthodox Jew. The guy was probably just upset because his reindeer died or something.

    Random violent crime is rare in the Nordic nation, but one person was killed and five others wounded last month when a knife attacker stabbed passengers a tram in the capital Oslo.

    In case we haven’t gotten the point, Reuters added this gratuitous paragraph to make clear that the last Norwegian mass-stabber was an immigrant nutcase (i.e., not an obvious Islamist terrorist). It appears that readers are expected to infer, though there is no logical reason to do so, that the plane attacker isn’t a terrorist either.

    But we don’t know the attacker’s motives. Maybe they weren’t Islamist, but that’s not the way to bet nowadays. Reuters, rather than merely presenting facts, seems determined to force the story into an editorial template. However, most readers probably are not going to accept Reuters’s version of the story at face value, and will read between the lines and use common sense to draw their own conclusions. The truth will out, even if it isn’t a truth that ideologically-engaged media operators like.

     

    3 Responses to “Just Another Random Crime by Arab Muslims?”

    1. Steven Den Beste Says:

      It turns out he’d applied for refugee status, and recently his application was denied. He was about to be deported.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      Thanks for the update. Sounds like he doesn’t fit the terrorist profile. Does he still get deported now? If not, perhaps that fact explains his motive for the attack.

    3. Steven Den Beste Says:

      The report I saw didn’t say what would become of him. Probably they haven’t decided yet.

      Given that he committed attempted murder, I doubt they’ll just deport him and be done with it. I suspect they’ll probably try him and toss him in prison for a few months — and THEN deport him.