While the media was busy talking about the NYC bombings and the arrest of Ahmad Khan Rahami, there was another bomb threat in Houston, Texas that did not receive nearly the same media attention. LA Times reporter Matt Pierce felt the incident was doomed from the start, and took to Twitter to imply that this story was pretty much guaranteed to not receive as much attention as the NYC bombings because of the skin color of the criminal involved.
According to a news release from U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Houston man Cary Lee Ogborn was arrested last Friday after he was discovered to be at the center of a bomb plot targeting Houston, Texas. The statement from the U.S. Attorney specified that, “Cary Lee Ogborn is charged with attempting to transport explosives with the intent that those explosives be used to kill, injure, or intimidate any individual or to damage or destroy a vehicle or building. He was arrested late Friday after picking up a package he believed contained such explosives.”
Although Ogborn’s plan to attack Houston was thwarted before it could cause a tragedy, Matt Pearce’s tweet struck a chord with many people who are disappointed the media is more likely to push a story when it advances a criminal narrative that fits a profitable “news-worthy formula” usually including Islamic terrorism or black and latino criminality.
Despite the high-profile coverage of several attacks committed by Islamic terrorists, the numbers just do not reflect this narrative. Research from Gallup and the Triangle Center On Homeland and Security found that “Law enforcement agencies in the United States consider anti-government violent extremists, not radicalized Muslims, to be the most severe threat of political violence that they face” due to the fact that “Muslim-American terrorist suspects and perpetrators in the decade since 9/11, [represent] just a small percentage of the thousands of acts of violence that occur in the United States each year.”