Story highlights

Peter Bergen ran White House timeline of terrorist attacks through media database

Bergen found the 78 cited as under-covered were the subject of 80,000-plus articles

Editor’s Note: Peter Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst, a vice president at New America and a professor of practice at Arizona State University. He is the author of “United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists.”

(CNN) —  

First, there was the “Bowling Green massacre” that wasn’t.

Now comes President Donald Trump’s claim Monday at the key US military base overseeing the war on ISIS – US Central Command in Tampa, Florida – that the media aren’t reporting terrorism for “reasons” the President didn’t elaborate upon.

Trump told the CENTCOM audience, “You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”

To “prove” that the media aren’t covering terrorism adequately the Trump White House, which is fighting in court to reinstate a refugee ban citing the terrorist threat, on Monday night released a list of 78 “major” terrorist attacks since September 2014, claiming, “Most have not received the media attention they deserved.”

This is one of the biggest baloney sandwiches this White House has foisted on the public since … well … the “Bowling Green massacre,” but it’s a much bigger and harder-to swallow helping of baloney because it is the President who is forcing it down our throats rather than one of his aides.

Taking the White House timeline of terrorist attacks, I ran it through the Nexis database, which is an authoritative resource for tracking media hits of all types, including in newspapers, magazines, wire service reports, TV news shows and the like.

The results show that terrorist attacks over the past couple of years are, in fact, some of the most well-reported stories of our times. The total number of media hits for the 78 terrorist attacks that the White House released Monday is 80,878, or about an average of slightly more than 1,000 mentions per incident.

And those numbers clearly understate how much coverage the media have given these incidents because a Nexis search only will display a maximum of 3,000 mentions for any given search.

There are 16 terrorist attacks on the White House list of purportedly under-covered attacks that each elicited more than 3,000 media mentions.

The following are a representative sample:

• In Ottawa in October 2014 Michael Zehaf-Bibeau killed a Canadian soldier.

• Two months later in Sydney, Man Haron Monis killed two Australians.

• In March 2015, 21 tourists were killed at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia.

• Two months later in Garland, Texas, two ISIS-inspired militants attacked a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest. Luckily no one was killed except the terrorists.

• In Tunisia, also in 2015, 38 were killed at a beach popular with Westerners.

• In October 2015, 224 were killed in Sinai, Egypt, when ISIS brought down a Russian passenger jet with a bomb.

The terror attacks in Paris and Nice, France, that Trump cited in his CENTCOM speech also received more than 3,000 media mentions.

The terrorist attacks that didn’t get as much coverage were – surprise — the ones where there were no deaths or that took place in countries such as Saudi Arabia or Bangladesh where there is little independent media reporting.

In three cases, there were no articles listed in the publications included in the Nexis database, and in each of those cases there were no casualties.

The media, including CNN, have exhaustively covered terrorism around the globe since the 9/11 attacks made the issue a central national security concern.

Indeed, the wall-to-wall media coverage of the ISIS attacks in Paris in November 2015 in which 129 were killed and the ISIS-inspired attack in San Bernardino, California, a month later in which 14 were killed was instrumental in boosting Trump in the polls, according to the polling analysis site FiveThirtyEight

Many Americans felt threatened by the ISIS-directed and ISIS-inspired attacks. As the presidential campaign was in full swing at the beginning of 2016, just over half of Americans said they were very or somewhat worried that they, or a member of their family, would be victims of a terrorist attack. This was the largest number to feel that way since just after the 9/11 attacks.

And how did so many Americans learn about the terrorist attacks they were so scared of? Here’s a clue: It wasn’t through telepathy.

Below is the official White House timeline of terrorist attacks since September 2014 with my annotations in bold about the media coverage they each received. (There are a number of incorrectly spelled words I have left as they were in the original.)

TIMELINE: September, 2014 - December, 2016

NUMBER OF ATTACKS: 78

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

September, 2014

TARGET: Two police officers wounded in knife attack

ATTACKER: Abdul Numan Haider

406 stories

TIZI OUZOU, ALGERIA

September, 2014

TARGET: One French citizen beheaded

ATTACKER: Jund al-Khilafah in Algeria

140 stories

QUEBEC, CANADA

October, 2014

TARGET: One soldier killed and one wounded in vehicle attack

ATTACKER: Martin Couture-Rouleau

1,509 stories

OTTAWA, CANADA

October, 2014

TARGET: One soldier killed at war memorial; two wounded in shootings at Parliament building

ATTACKER: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

More than 3,000 stories

NEW YORK CITY, NY, USA

October, 2014

TARGET: Two police officers wounded in knife attack

ATTACKER: US person

477 stories

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA

November, 2014

TARGET: One Danish citizen wounded in shooting

ATTACKERS: Three Saudi Arabia-based ISIL members

10 stories

ABU DHABI, UAE

DATE: December 2014

TARGET: One American killed in knife attack

ATTACKER: Dalal al-Hashimi

24 stories

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

December, 2014

TARGET: Two Australians killed in hostage taking and shooting

ATTACKER: Man Haron Monis

More than 3,000 stories

TOURS, FRANCE

December, 2014

TARGET: Three police officers wounded in knife attack

ATTACKER: Bertrand Nzohabonayo

91 stories

PARIS, FRANCE

January, 2015

TARGET: One police officer and four hostages killed in shooting at a kosher supermarket

ATTACKER: Amedy Coulibaly

More than 3,000 stories

TRIPOLI, LIBYA

January, 2015

TARGET: Ten killed, including one US citizen, and five wounded in bombing and shooting at a hotel frequented by westerners

ATTACKERS: As many as five ISIL-Libya members

837 stories

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA

January, 2015

TARGET: Two US citizens wounded in shooting

ATTACKER: Saudi Arabia-based ISIL supporter

5 stories

NICE, FRANCE

February, 2015

TARGET: Two French soldiers wounded in knife attack outside a Jewish community center

ATTACKER: Moussa Coulibaly

268 stories

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

February, 2015

TARGET: One civilian killed in shooting at a free-speech rally and one security guard killed outside the city’s main synagogue

ATTACKER: Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein

535 stories

TUNIS, TUNISIA

March, 2015

TARGET: 21 tourists killed, including 16 westerners, and 55 wounded in shooting at the Bardo Museum

ATTACKERS: Two ISIL-aligned extremists

More than 3,000 stories

KARACHI, PAKISTAN

April, 2015

TARGET: One US citizen wounded in knife attack

ATTACKERS: Pakistan-based ISIL supporters

375 stories

PARIS, FRANCE

April, 2015

TARGET: Catholic churches targeted; one civilian killed in shooting, possibly during an attempted carjacking

ATTACKER: Sid Ahmed Ghlam

612 stories

ZVORNIK, BOSNIA

April, 2015

TARGET: One police officer killed and two wounded in shooting

ATTACKER: Nerdin Ibric

61 stories

GARLAND, TX, USA

May, 2015

TARGET: One security guard wounded in shooting at the Prophet Muhammad cartoon event

ATTACKERS: Two US persons

More than 3,000 stories

BOSTON, MA, USA

June, 2015

TARGET: No casualties; one police officer attacked with knife

ATTACKER: US person

627 stories

EL GORA (AL JURAH), EGYPT

June, 2015

TARGET: No casualties; camp used by Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) troops attacked in shooting and bombing attack

ATTACKERS: Unknown number of ISIL-Sinai members

0 stories

LUXOR, EGYPT

June, 2015

TARGET: One police officer killed by suicide bomb near the Temple of Karnak

ATTACKER: Unidentified

101 Stories

SOUSSE, TUNISIA

June, 2015

TARGET: 38 killed and 39 wounded in shooting at a beach frequented by westerners

ATTACKERS: Seifeddine Rezgui and another unidentified attacker

More than 3,000 stories

LYON, FRANCE

June, 2015

TARGET: One civilian killed in beheading and explosion at a chemical plant

ATTACKER: Yasin Salhi

188 stories

CAIRO, EGYPT

July, 2015

TARGET: One killed and nine wounded in VBIED attack at Italian Consulate

ATTACKER: Unidentified ISIL operatives

1,085 stories

CAIRO, EGYPT

July, 2015

TARGET: One Croatian national kidnapped; beheaded on August 12 at an unknown location

ATTACKER: Unidentified ISIL-Sinai operative

466 stories

PARIS, FRANCE

August, 2015

TARGET: Two civilians and one US soldier wounded with firearms and knife on a passenger train

ATTACKER: Ayoub el-Khazzani

2,484 stories

EL GORA, EGYPT

September, 2015

TARGET: Four US and two MFO troops wounded in IED attack

ATTACKER: Unidentified

5 stories

DHAKA, BANGLADESH

September, 2015

TARGET: One Italian civilian killed in shooting

ATTACKER: Unidentified

788 stories

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

September, 2015

TARGET: One police officer wounded in knife attack

ATTAKER: Palestinian national

130 stories

EL GORA, EGYPT

October, 2015

TARGET: No casualties; airfield used by MFO attacked with rockets

ATTAKER: Unidentified ISIL-Sinai operatives

0 stories

PARRAMATTA, AUSTRALIA

October, 2015

TARGET: One police officer killed in shooting

ATTAKER: Farhad Jabar

1,826 stories

RANGPUR, BANGLADESH

October, 2015

TARGET: One Japanese civilian killed in shooting

ATTAKER: Unidentified

471 stories

HASANAH, EGYPT

October, 2015

TARGET: 224 killed in downing of a Russian airliner

ATTAKER: Unidentified ISIL-Sinai operatives

More than 3,000 stories

MERCED, CA, US

November, 2015

TARGET: Four wounded in knife attack on a college campus

ATTAKER: US person

163 stories

PARIS, FRANCE

November, 2015

TARGET: At least 129 killed and approximately 400 wounded in series of shootings and IED attacks

ATTAKERS: Brahim Abdelslam, Saleh Abdeslam, Ismail Mostefai, Bilal Hadfi, Samy Amimour, Chakib Ahrouh, Foued Mohamed Aggad, and Abdelhamid Abaaoud

More than 3.000 stories

DINAJPUR, BANGLADESH

November, 2015

TARGET: One Italian citizen wounded in shooting

ATTAKER: Unidentified

203 stories

RAJLOVAC, BOSNIA

December, 2015

TARGET: Two Bosnian soldiers killed in shooting

ATTAKER: Enes Omeragic

42 stories

SAN BERNADINO, CA

December, 2015

TARGET: 14 killed and 21 wounded in coordinated firearms attack

ATTAKERS: Two US persons

More than 3,000 stories

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK

December, 2015

TARGET: Three wounded in knife attack at an underground rail station

ATTAKER: Muhyadin Mire

44 stories

DERBENT, RUSSIA

December, 2015

TARGET: One killed and 11 wounded in shooting at UN World Heritage site

ATTAKER: Unidentified ISIL-Caucasus operative

286 stories

CAIRO, EGYPT

January, 2016

TARGET: Two wounded in drive-by shooting outside a hotel frequented by tourists

ATTAKERS: Unidentified ISIL operatives

5 stories

PARIS, FRANCE

January, 2016

TARGET: No casualties; attacker killed after attempted knife attack on Paris police station

ATTAKER: Tarek Belgacem

97 stories

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

January, 2016

TARGET: One police officer wounded in shooting

ATTAKER: US person

321 stories

HURGHADA, EGYPT

January, 2016

TARGET: One German and one Danish national wounded in knife attack at a tourist resort

ATTAKER: Unidentified

5 stories

MARSEILLES, FRANCE

January, 2016

TARGET: One Jewish teacher wounded in machete attack

ATTAKER: 15 year-old Ethnic Kurd from Turkey

184 stories

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

January, 2016

TARGET: 12 German tourists killed and 15 wounded in suicide bombing

ATTAKER: Nabil Fadli

More than 3,000 stories

JAKARTA, INDONESIA

January, 2016

TARGET: Four civilians killed and more than 20 wounded in coordinated bombing and firearms attacks near a police station and a Starbucks

ATTAKERS: Dian Joni Kurnaiadi, Muhammad Ali, Arif Sunakim, and Ahmad Muhazan bin Saron

2,530 stories

COLUMBUS, OH, US

February, 2016

TARGET: Four civilians wounded in machete attack at a restaurant

ATTAKER: US person

108 stories

HANOVER, GERMANY

February, 2016

TARGET: One police officer wounded in knife attack

ATTAKER: Safia Schmitter

60 stories

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

March, 2016

TARGET: Four killed and 36 wounded in suicide bombing in the tourist district

ATTAKER: Mehmet Ozturk

306 stories

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

March, 2016

TARGET: At least 31 killed and 270 wounded in coordinated bombings at Zaventem Airport and on a subway train

ATTAKERS: Khalid el-Bakraoui, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, Najim Laachraoui, Mohammed Abrini, and Osama Krayem

More than 3,000 stories

ESSEN, GERMANY

April, 2016

TARGET: Three wounded in bombing at Sikh temple

ATTAKERS: Three identified minors

197 stories

ORLANDO, FL, US

June, 2016

TARGET: 49 killed and 53 wounded in shooting at a nightclub

ATTAKER: US person

More than 3,000 stories

MAGNANVILLE, FRANCE

June, 2016

TARGET: One police officer and one civilian killed in knife attack

ATTAKER: Larossi Abballa

1,124 stories

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

June, 2016

TARGET: 14 killed in suicide attack on a bus carrying Canadian Embassy guards

ATTAKER: ISIL-Khorasan operative

1,404 stories

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

June, 2016

TARGET: 45 killed and approximately 240 wounded at Ataturk International Airport

ATTACKERS: Rakhim Bulgarov, Vadim Osmanov, and an unidentified ISIL operative

More than 3,000 stories

DHAKA, BANGLADESH

July, 2016

TARGET: 22 killed, including one American and 50 wounded after hours-long siege using machetes and firearms at holy Artisan Bakery

ATTACKERS: Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz, Meer Saameh Mubasheer, Khairul Islam Paye, and Shafiqul Islam Uzzal

More than 3,000 stories

NICE, FRANCE

July, 2016

TARGET: 84 civilians killed and 308 wounded by an individual who drove a truck into a crowd

ATTACKER: Mohamed Bouhlel

More than 3,000 stories

WURZBURG, GERMANY

July, 2016

TARGET: Four civilians wounded in axe attack on a train

ATTACKER: Riaz Khan Ahmadzai

283 stories

ANSBACH, GERMANY

July, 2016

TARGET: At least 15 wounded in suicide bombing at a music festival

ATTACKER: Mohammad Daleel

300 stories

NORMANDY, FRANCE

July, 2016

TARGET: One priest killed in knife attack

ATTACKERS: Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean

1,637 stories

CHALEROI, BELGIUM

August, 2016

TARGET: Two police officers wounded in machete attack

ATTACKER: Khaled Babouri

10 stories

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

August, 2016

TARGET: Two killed and one wounded in knife attack at a hostel frequented by Westerners

ATTACKER: Smail Ayad

852 stories

COPENHAGEN, DENMAKR

September, 2016

TARGET: Two police officers and a civilian wounded in shooting

ATTACKER: Mesa Hodzic

43 stories

PARIS, FRANCE

September, 2016

TARGET: One police officer wounded in raid after VBIED failed to detonate at Notre Dame Cathedral

ATTACKERS: Sarah Hervouet, Ines Madani, and Amel Sakaou

21 stories

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

September, 2016

TARGET: One civilian wounded in knife attack

ATTACKER: Ihsas Khan

269 stories

ST. CLOUD, MN, US

September, 2016

TARGET: 10 wounded in knife attack in a mall

ATTACKER: Dahir Ahmed Adan

241 stories

NEW YORK, NY; SEASIDE PARK AND ELIZABETH, NJ, US

September, 2016

TARGET: 31 wounded in bombing in New York City; several explosive devices found in New York and New Jersey; one exploded without casualty at race in New Jersey; one police officer wounded in shootout

ATTACKER: Ahmad Khan Rahami

More than 3,000 stories

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

October, 2016

TARGET: Two police officers wounded in stabbing

ATTACKER: Belgian national

31 stories

KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT

TARGET: No casualties; vehicle carrying three US soldiers hit by a truck

ATTACKER: Ibrahim Sulayman

0 stories

MALMO, SWEDEN

October, 2016

TARGET: No casualties; mosque and community center attacked with Molotov cocktail

ATTACKER: Syrian national

26 stories

HAMBURG, GERMANY

October, 2016

TARGET: One killed in knife attack

ATTACKER: Unknown

516 stories

MANILA, PHILIPPINES

November, 2016

TARGET: No casualties; failed IED attempt near US Embassy

ATTACKERS: Philippine nationals aligned with the Maute group

1 story

COLUMBUS, OH, US

November, 2016

TARGET: 14 wounded by individuals who drove a vehicle into a group of pedestrians and attacked them with a knife

ATTACKER: US person

More than 3,000 stories

N’DJAMENA, CHAD

November, 2016

TARGET: No casualties; attacker arrested after opening fire at entrance of US Embassy

ATTACKER: Chadian national

11 stories

KARAK, JORDAN

December, 2016

TARGET: 10 killed and 28 wounded in shooting at a tourist site

ATTACKERS: Several gunmen

2,037 stories

BERLIN, GERMANY

December, 2016

TARGET: 12 killed and 48 wounded by individual who drove truck into a crowded market

ATTACKER: Anis Amri

More than 3,000 stories