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Thursday, July 15, 2010

How wrong was the media on Faisal Shahzad?

A day after the failed Times Square bombing attempt, NBC Nightly News repeatedly called him a "lone wolf."

A month after, CBS Evening News called him a "hybrid terrorist":

In one sense, Shahzad was a lone wolf, with evidence suggesting that he alone bought, assembled, and delivered his botched IED. But, sources say it's also clear Shahzad had some help, drawing inspiration, financial support and bomb training from the Pakistani Taliban.

Now, Al Arabiya released a martyrdom video that he had made months beforehand with the Taliban, describing his motive. (Guess what? Israel wasn't mentioned! I guess he missed the memo to always mention Israel.)

It sure looks like the media tried as hard as possible to minimize this failed terror attack. And this minimization was largely successful, as the new evidence about Shahzad has come out slowly and is mostly downplayed in the press.

Yet the facts are clear - a mere two months ago, a Muslim extremist who was trained by a worldwide terrorist organization tried to kill hundreds of men, women and children in New York City. The fact that his bomb failed is not nearly as relevant as the fact that he could have easily succeeded, especially if he had really aspired to martyrdom instead of chickening out and trying to use a timer. Dismissing him as "incompetent" is besides the point - that there are millions of people who share his vision, and many of those would not have made the same mistakes.