The Trump administration on Monday posted a list of terrorist attacks that it claimed were “under-reported” by the mainstream media, and it included high-profile cases that received significant media coverage such as the 2015 attacks in Paris and the mass shooting in San Bernardino.
Swedish publication TheLocal.se talked with terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp, a researcher at Sweden’s National Defense University, who says that Trump’s claims of “under-reported” terrorist incidents are simply crude propaganda aimed at making American citizens much more fearful of terrorist attacks than they need to be.
“The easiest way to describe this is classic fake news from Trump’s White House,” he said. “This is nothing to do with the truth, it’s an influencing operation. Propaganda, targeted at the American population.”
Ranstorp was particularly dismayed that the Trump administration included minor incidents on its list of terror attacks, including a case of arson committed in the city of Malmö, Sweden that only resulted in minor smoke damage.
“These things have been reported at a local level, as many of them are instances of local news, for which there would be a limited international appetite,” Ranstorp said. “Then there’s also the question: if you aren’t sure if it was a terror-related issue, or something else, why would you report it as terror?”