For some there was too little terrorism this Christmas...

26 Dec 2010 | 339 words | journalism netherlands security terrorism

Xmas is almost over and unfortunately (for the news-media) there have been no instances of (attempted) terrorism this year (well that is no terrorism in the west, since bomb attacks in pakistan do not diminish the well being of us westerners). one of the entities suffering from the absence of terrorist activity is the website of the german weekly ‘der spiegel‘.

Instead of reverting to publishing ‘the 10 most … of 2010’ lists spiegel online descended like a vulture on the arrest of 12 somalis that were accused of planning a terrorist attack in the Netherlands. As usual no weapons or explosives were found, which makes you wonder how these people could have possibly been capable of carrying out an attack in the immediate future. My prediction: all of them will be released or turned over to la migra before the end of the year.

While this arrest made headlines on spiegel online (one of those +++ EILMELDUNG +++ boxes) it hardy made it to the top of any news-media here in the Netherlands (for example it is completely absent from which usually jumps on anything violent and/or related to migrants). today, a day after the arrest spiegel online is forced to run an article in which it reports that the first 5 of the 12 suspected somalis have been released from custody (surprisingly no evidence has been found for them being terrorists).

Now this would not be spiegel online if they would not use this article to continue making completely baseless insinuations directed at the somali community in the Netherlands. This culminates in the following sentence which runs afoul or pretty much every journalistic principle i am aware of:

DE: Insider rechnen damit, dass einige von ihnen Verbindungen zu Extremisten in der völlig zerrütteten ostafrikanischen Heimat haben könnten. / EN: Insiders expect that some of them [PK: somalis living in NL] could have connections to extremists in their completly torn east-african country.

I really love the combination of unidentified insiders who expect that someone could have connections…