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With Suspected Austin Bomber Believed Dead, a Familiar Story About Who Is and Isn't Called a "Terrorist"

With Suspected Austin Bomber Believed Dead, a Familiar Story About Who Is and Isn't Called a "Terrorist"

Jake Johnson, staff writer

The man believed to have been behind a string of bombings that killed two people and injured five in Austin, Texas died early Wednesday morning after blowing himself up in his vehicle as law enforcement closed in.


Too predictable. Heard Der Orange Fuhrer on the radio calling the bomber - before he was dead - “a very sick, sick individual.” Of course. Because he was white. Standard racist right-wing bullshit: if the killer is white, then he is “sick,” if he is brown-skinned, then he is a terrorist.

When is the MSM going to start calling the right out on this BS?


Considering the ownership of the MSM, I would guess: “Never”.


I’ve said this before on common dreams because people get all caught up with who is called a terrorist or not, and they would be right parts of the time that white terrorists are not called terrorists as readily; however, I want to make the distinction that they are only a terrorist if there is a political, religious, or otherwise ideological reason for their violence. Until that motive can be proven then a mass shooter or bomber is not a terrorist (why the Las Vegas Shooter is not a terrorist while the guy who shot up the Church in South Carolina is). Waiting to learn the motive before calling anyone a terrorist is the responsible thing to do.


Politically-motivated violence by white citizens does not officially qualify as terrorism in the US. In order to charge a white dude with terrorism here, the law would have to be rewritten.


Unfortunately, if a non-white person commits an act of mass violence that does not have a “political, religious, or otherwise ideological” basis, they are still labeled a “terrorist”.

You are correct in stating that waiting to label people is the responsible thing to do. A little consistency across the spectrum would help.


The use or the term terrorist really needs to stop

These people are simple criminals…that’s it

Terrorist invokes a military response which we as a people need to stop

Terrorists get military tribunals…hardly innocent until proven guilty

Terrorists have no habeas corpus rights…no warrants needed

Terrorist labeling is the leverage used to strip us of all our rights

Remember those ‘Unalienable Rights’

You remember don’t you?


Speaking of MSM misdeeds, why is the story of Zinke the terrorist of the American Southwest not the top story here, like it is on this MSM site that never reports the truth, because as we know all MSM stories are fake news.

This is the terrorism we should be fighting against.


Frankly, the legal definition of terrorism widely misses the mark, IMO. This bomber qualifies as a terrorist by virtue of his activities. He terrorized an entire city for weeks! How can he be merely a ‘sick’ individual (clearly) and not a terrorist? I don’t care what the ‘legal’ definition is, the man was a terrorist. And on what basis are his actions deemed NOT to be motivated by ideology? Who says? How on earth could they know? No one talked to him - no one knows. But everyone knows that he held Austin in a state of fear (terror) for weeks.


Exactly, I would like the word to be used consistently with its definition. When its used outside of its definition or before the motive is known then the meaning of the word is lessened.


On the MARK, LadyK!

Once the investigation team examining either the bomb construction or debris material determines a single source of manufacture, then terrorism should be added to any allegation.

That doesn’t reduce the sentiment of other posters here in any way echoing Christiansen’s tweets; I just think you’ve gotten it more right.

Of course, we are only talking about weaknesses in journalism, not legal definitions. Does anyone know whether there’s a legal definition out there? or has it always been a political allegation?


Only vaguely.


I agree! The word “terrorist” has been so overused, so misused and so politicized, that it means
nothing. Or worse, it means whatever the one using it wants it to mean.

As an example, the increasing tendency for people of a certain political and/or philosophical mindset to label environmental activists as “terrorists” is ludicrous!


The Patriot Act and the NDAA legislation are designed to dismantle/override the US Constitution. Both documents were pushed through Congress with the help of Democrats and essentially strip every individual of their rights. habeas corpus has been violated many times over by the fascist state. Due process is a thing of the past…


This happens in the media the world over.

As example in reading a newspaper out of any number of Western Countries you will rarely see the word grouping of “Palestinian Peace Activist” while you will see the grouping “Palestinian Terrorist” with regularity. This in spite of the fact there more Palestinians that are activists for peace then there are that kill people in acts of terror.

This is VERY deliberate on the part of the Western Media. It is to condition the mind of the reader into using Word association wherein everytime they see the word Palestinian, they link it to terrorist.

It a method by which the State shapes public perceptions and advances its agenda on the behalf of the one percent. The Public might not like the notion of stealing the resources from a people who just want peace and to be left alone , but are much more willing to accept the notion that those same people are not deserved of those resources if they are all just “terrorists”.

The reason those white guys that plant bombs in the USA are not labeled as Terrorists is because (as of yet) there no Countries of white people that the Western nations Corporations do not already control the resources of. That is of course outside of Russia and we see what is happening with Russia in the media.


Exactly. Just imagine how the narrative would change if the Austin bomber was found to have been a practicing Muslim!


Yup. Trump is the first one to begin screaming the “terrorist” word on TV and Twitter 2 seconds after any kind of mass violence, when the perpetrator is known to have dark skin. When the perpetrator has white skin, he - strangely - is silent for hours or even days after the attack, then later comes out with the “sick individual” line.

Remember his admonition after the Vegas shooter to the media? When asked why he was so quiet about it, and hadn’t said it was “terrorism,” he said that he “wanted to get all of the facts first, before rushing to a conclusion.” :slight_smile: Five minutes after the London bombing - when it was known the perpetrator had dark skin, but no information had been given yet about his religious/political leanings - Trump was ranting about “Terrorists!!!” on Twitter.



Nope. Today’s definition of terrorist, as corrupted by our government, serves only to scare the public and does not include violence committed by homegrown criminals.


Hi HoosierPride,

Do you acknowledge the State Sanctioned Terrorism practiced, in the US, against people of color?

When a cop, a Black cop, shot and killed an innocent unarmed White women, Justine Damond, there was national, and international outrage. The police chief resigned and the police officer was eventually arrested.

On the other hand, this past Sunday, police shot and killed unarmed Stephen Clark in the backyard of home he was staying at with his two young children. The silence on the part the the mainstream media is deafening. With the exception of the BLM movement, other social justice activists, and communities of color, there has been no outrage to this cold-blooded murder.

The reality for Black folk in the US, is that the State Sanctioned Terrorism is so profound that the police can kill you anywhere, even in your own home, at any time, no matter what activity you are engaged in. When they do, the police enjoy a near absolute impunity. While many of us adults have come to terms with the fact that the police may kill us at any time, there is a different terror for those of us with children. The real terrorism is the fear we have knowing that our children are never free from the threat that, at any point in time, a police office can shot them dead.

Perhaps understanding this terrorism would help you understand why folk of color feel that acts of racism, or acts in which folk of color are disproportionally targeted, constitute terrorism.


There are now plenty of young white males being brought up on terrorist charges. This won’t bring justice or human dignity.

Only ending our war of terror for subsidizing the TAPI project, and Russian LukOil and Royal Dutch Shell’s pumping of Iraq southern oil field oil to china profiteering, as well as arms prifiteering, will bring justice and human dignity.

As pointed out in an earlier comment: the terror/terrorist/terrorism words are psychological imprint words that have been used since 1987 (with JSOC’s opening in Tampa and the fall of the Berlin wall) to foment the ease of killing and the subsidization of killing.

The only way out appears to be holding to the argument and actions Martin Luther King presents with Breaking The Silence/Beyond Vietnam…until then: stuck eye ball deep in the horrors of the Big Muddy of Our War of Terror.