By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
In the wake of the terror attack in New York City on November 11th, some media focused on a story that it was connected to Israel’s actions. The Mirror in the UK claimed it was “retaliation to Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.” Other media repeated the claim that he was angry over Israel’s actions. Despite these claims and headlines that he was “reportedly” angry about Israel and Business Insider’s initial claim “additionally, Ullah may have wanted to make a statement about Israel’s occupation,” none of this was based on his main motivations.
Most reports that brought up the Israel connection claimed it was based on a CNN report. CNN writes “He had pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to one law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation, and said he acted in response to Israeli actions in Gaza.” According to “one” official.
But wait a sec. Let’s read the full CNN report.
- “Ullah’s ISIS radicalization began in 2014.
- “He began researching how to build improvised explosive devices about a year ago.”
- “He began collecting the necessary items two to three weeks ago.”
- “He built the bomb in his home a week ago, the complaint states.”
So according to the federal complaint he was radicalized years ago. He began researching how to make a bomb a year ago. He began collecting the items THREE WEEKS AGO. And a week ago, which is BEFORE Trump’s recognition, he built the bomb.
So he built the explosive before the Jerusalem issue. He didn’t mention Israel in his message that he hoped would be found after the detonation. It said “O America, die in your rage.” Nothing about Israel.
And there is more: “Ullah told investigators that he was motivated in part by pro-ISIS Christmas attack propaganda circulated about a month ago online with an image of Santa Claus over Times Square, a law enforcement source told CNN.”
So what happened to the “Israel” and “retaliation” story.
It was false news.