Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said that “the greater majority of domestic terrorist attacks are not by Muslims at all, they’re by people like Timothy McVeigh.”
Ellison made the comment during an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes a day after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for bombing a Belgian airport and subway train.
“You know, we’ve now seen a variety of ISIS attacks in Europe and the U.S. over the past year. The most severe ones here in Europe, but of course San Bernardino, which appears to be ISIS-inspired, if not sort of ISIS-directed in an operational sense,” said Hayes, who was in Brussels covering the terror attack that killed at least 31 people, including two Americans, and wounding hundreds more.
“Do you have faith that, God forbid, if there were to be another attack in the U.S. on the scale like something here [in Brussels], in the American political system to not completely lose sight of these core values?” Hayes asked Ellison, the first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress.
“Yes, I do believe that we will deal with the problem in a forthright, sensible way,” Ellison replied. “I think the greater majority of Americans know and understand that panic and scapegoating is not going to make us safer.
“What we’ve got to do is have [a] greater amount of integration, build relationships. We’ve got to make sure that we’re monitoring people who actually are showing signs of radicalization – not just their religion, but actually doing things that raise legitimate concern.
“And it’s important to have a great relationship within the Muslim community. So, there’s reports out there that have shown that as many as a third of the attacks, or potential attacks, have been reported and thwarted by Muslims.
“And of course, as we both know, Chris, the greater majority of domestic terrorist attacks are not by Muslims at all. They're by people like Timothy McVeigh," Ellison said.
“And so, you know, we got to understand terrorism as a generalized threat, various ideologies that drive it. But, no, I think we can get through this, but people like [Donald] Trump and [Ted] Cruz are not helping."
According to an analysis by CNN, there were five ISIS-inspired attacks in the U.S. over the past year and a half, including the Dec. 2, 2015 mass shooting of 14 people in San Bernardino, California by a couple that had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.