CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank started a mini-firestorm of blowback over comments he made on CNN in the hours after an explosion occurred at an Ariana Grande concert yesterday.
That’s all we really knew at the time Cruickshank made his comments on CNN around 6:39 p.m. ET on Monday night. ISIS hadn’t taken responsibility and we didn’t know the identity of the suspect, or even if it was a suicide bomber.
Here’s what Cruickshank said:
CNN analyst said Manchester was likely an Islamist attack, but floated the idea it could have been “false flag” by “right wing extremists.” pic.twitter.com/IzgKtU8T0O
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) May 23, 2017
It appears there was some evidence this was a suicide bombing. That certainly takes it down the Islamist terrorist direction. It must also be noted that in recent months, in Europe, there have been a number of false flag plots where right wing extemists have tried to frame Islamists for terrorism. We’ve seen that in Germany in recent weeks. But a suicide bomber really does take you down the direction of Islamist terror.
Cruickshank wasn’t saying Monday’s bombing was a right-wing “false flag” event. He couched it unequivocally between saying if it’s a suicide bombing, then it’s Islamist terror.
Cruickshank mentioning the event in Germany means he has knowledge and perspective, as analysts are expected to have, and is trying to offer an (unlikely) alternative based on recent events in Europe.
The story he mentions was the arrest of a German soldier last month, who posed as a Syrian refugee, over an alleged false flag terror plot.
As Streiff wrote earlier, the alleged false flag plots in Europe have largely been an effort to take down pro-refugee politicians. In this case, namely Germany’s Angela Merkel.
But guess who also has an important election coming up and Monday’s bombing is already being discussed in light of the election? Great Britain.
Meaning raising the topic of what happened last month in Germany wasn’t off-the-wall, “crazy pants,” or not germane to the topic of recent terror plots in the region.
Cruickshank’s comment — again, he couched it between stating and reiterating it was likely Islamist terror — should have been taken in the manner he clearly intended it, it was highly unlikely.
Cruickshank is a terrorism analyst. He provided analysis and threw in one unlikely scenario based on recent events. To say he took a side or blamed the bombing on a right-wing false flag attack is ludicrous, and to say otherwise is either an uninformed or willfully misleading interpretation of what he said.
The alternative is we stop analyzing anything, assume everything is Islamist terror before we know any details and continue on our merry way. No one should be comfortable with that either.