PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Set. 18, 2017:
UPDATED: The Star Tribune reporter responds. See exchange below.
On the one-year anniversary of the terror attack in St. Cloud, Minnesota, where Somali refugee Dahir Adan walked into the Crossroads Center shopping mall and began stabbing shoppers (as he asked his victims if they were Muslim) and shouting “Allah akhbar,” the media is still remarkably unclear about Adan’s motives.
The attack was later claimed by the Islamic State, which declared that Adan was one of their “soldiers”.
But for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, there are still many doubts about Adan’s motive.
“Reporter” Stephen Montemayor tells us:
But one year after Adan’s rampage, newly unsealed court filings detailing the FBI’s early response underline the difficulty that persists in trying to unwrap the young man’s motivation and determine whether he had any guidance from virtual terror planners abroad.
Days after sending more than 20 agents to St. Cloud to interview scores of witnesses, the FBI obtained search warrants for Adan’s social media accounts, the Toyota Camry he was driving when he struck a bicyclist on his way to the mall and four digital devices, according to court filings. But authorities still say they may never know what sparked Adan’s decision to bring two Farberware kitchen knives to the mall that night.
FBI special agent in charge Richard Thornton told reporters last year that the bright young college student may have been radicalized “almost overnight,” growing withdrawn and scolding relatives for not being more devout […]
Authorities have not found contacts between Adan and operatives of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, instead pointing to witness statements that Adan shouted “Allahu akbar,” an Arabic phrase meaning “God is great,” and that he first asked some victims if they were Muslim before stabbing them.
Despite recounting the official claims of the attack by ISIS, testimony of the victims, and acknowledgement of Adan’s increasingly radicalized behavior, there still remains a great mystery to his motive according to the Star Tribune.
It seems what is going on is that the Star Tribune is taking the FBI saying that they can’t find a direct connection between Adan and ISIS and trying to gin that up into a controversy about what his motive was. However, these are not correlated issues.
To our knowledge and based on what has been reported, there is no indication that Adan ever claimed a direct connection to ISIS.
So how does the absence of any evidence of a direct connection, which was never claimed by Adan, suddenly throw into doubt all of the other available evidence? It doesn’t. That’s at the heart of the gaslighting that’s going on in this case.
And for local “activist” organizations quoted by Montemayor, that manufactured doubt about Adan’s motives now allows them to charge that others are able to “just fill in their own truths”:
The opacity of Adan’s case has been difficult for St. Cloud, said Natalie Ringsmuth, who directs #UniteCloud, a nonprofit that has worked to ease cultural tensions. Ringsmuth said the stabbing is still referenced by anti-Muslim activists visiting the city, as recently as last week. Meanwhile, she said not knowing whether Adan was indeed radicalized has curbed the opportunity to discuss preventing a similar episode.
“We don’t know specifically how to talk about it,” she said. “And we find when there are not clear-cut answers or the truth is not available, people just fill in their own truths.”
According to this “activist” we can’t even know if Adan was radicalized as he was stabbing people shouting “Islam, Islam” and “Allah akhbar”!
This is why the Star Tribune‘s gaslighting is so twisted. The facts of this case with respective to Adan’s motive are well established. Then the Star Tribune creates a controversy to now claim that there’s uncertainty and nobody else can take the available evidence at face value. If you don’t remain agnostic as to Adan’s motives, you’re now the one jumping to conclusions.
It must be mentioned that the initial coverage of the attack by the Star Tribune last year was not only deliberately vague (Adan was never named), but written so awkwardly in the passive voice that one could have easily concluded that the attack was committed by someone with anti-Muslim grievances, not a devotee of jihadist ideology: