St. Kate’s: Is It Still Terrorism When Local Media Refuse To Use The Word?

Police arrested Tnuza Jamal Hassan, 19, of Minneapolis, on suspicion of arson after eight small fires were set at St. Catherine University in St. Paul on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Courtesy of the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office)

Last Friday nineteen year old Tnuza Jamal Hassan was arraigned in Ramsey County District Court on one felony count of first-degree arson. According to prosecutors, Hassan set a series of fires on the campus of Saint Catherine’s University because she was upset about U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the complaint, she “wanted the school to burn to the ground” and that her intent was to “hurt people.” A sprinkler system prevented a dormitory fire from spreading to a daycare facility that had 33 children cared for by 8 adults. “Hassan said this was the same thing that happened in the ‘Muslim land’ and nobody cares if they get hurt, so why not do this?” the criminal complaint alleges.

Hassan appears to be a serious terrorist. She allegedly told police that “You guys are lucky that I don’t know how to build a bomb because I would have done that.” According to the Daily Mail (frequently the best source for the truth about immigration and refugees in Minnesota after Refugee Resettlement Watch), “Police obtained surveillance video from the university, which allowed them to track Hassan to Crandall Hall where she was ultimately taken into custody in a student lounge after a room-to-room search. According to the college, the 19-year-old was last enrolled at St Catherine’s in the fall of 2017. Hassan reportedly dropped out because her family were planning to travel to Ethiopia.”

The Pioneer Press reported that “her fire-starting was not as successful as she had wanted,” and that “Hassan told investigators she wrote a letter to her roommates about ‘bringing back the Caliphate,’ an Islamic state. The letter scared Hassan’s roommates, who turned it over to campus security, the complaint stated.”

The Star Tribune reported that “Court records show no history for Hassan. She was a St. Paul Public Schools student, first enrolling in the district in 2010 at Highland Park Junior High. She graduated from Johnson Senior High in 2016, according to the school district.” The story does not appear on the homepage of the Star Tribune despite it being listed as the second most shared story. It does appear on the homepage of the Pioneer Press. Minnesota Public Radio (“MPR”) carried a brief Associated Press story of the crime but the story does not appear on its homepage.

Scott Johnson of Powerline noted that “Hassan has been the beneficiary of the best that Minnesota has to offer.” He further tartly observed “The Pioneer Press story includes readers’ comments at the bottom. The Star Tribune story does not want to hear from readers on this one.” Funny how that works with the Star Tribune. It should be noted that MPR similarly left no room for readers to share their thoughts. Johnson, of course, has consistently provided searching and penetrating coverage of Islamic terrorism in Minnesota. His post contains the video of local television FOX 9’s coverage.

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, however, is the one who asks the questions that mainstream local media seem intent to avoid: “Where did Tnuza Hassan learn Islam? Where does she attend mosque? What does that mosque teach about violence against unbelievers? Is that mosque being investigated? Why not? Is it being assumed that Tnuza J. Hassan was “radicalized on the Internet”? If so, why was the supposedly twisted, hijacked, violent version of Islam she supposedly learned on the Internet so easily able to overcome the supposedly peaceful, benign, tolerant version that everyone assumes that she learned at home and at her local mosque?”

The common trait that links local media coverage of this crime is that no outlet used the word terrorism. Why is that? Plainly the woman used violence in the hope of harming innocent people–including children–on behalf of explicitly stated political goals. By any measure that is the textbook definition of terrorism.

On the same day Hassan was being arraigned for terrorism, Stephen Montemayor of the Star Tribune led a confab for the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (stifle your laughter, please) which featured the preeminent hate group in the nation, the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC is a far left, lavishly funded group that promiscuously labels any group with which it disagrees a “hate group.” Only Regressive Left journalists in the Twin Cities would consider it to be a neutral arbiter of anything. In addition, “researchers” from Pro Publica, another far left political group masquerading as an impartial non-profit, taught attendees its version of “hate crimes.” The result isn’t journalism, to the extent such a thing still exists, but rank propaganda that should be treated accordingly.

No mention of Hassan’s terrorism was made during those proceedings. This is by design because the narrative framing of the subject matter is that all hate groups exist on the Right, never on the Left. This in the face of what the United States and its people, to say nothing of the rest of the world, have suffered at the hands of radical Islamic terrorism. Local media recently decried the appearance of “white supremacy” posters at Saint Cloud State but all they said was “unapologetically white.” If they said “unapologetically black” would they be characterized as “black supremacy?” Of course not. The media are having trouble trying to demonize just one ethnicity now that they & the Regressive Left embrace corrosive identity politics. As they are learning, it can’t be done.

In the same way as its treatment of “hate groups,” much of Minnesota media have taken sides as to what constitutes terrorism. They attempt to pass off their coverage as unbiased, straightforward and in-depth. It is none of those things, however, and for Minnesotans to be fully informed of what is actually going on in their state, they must not only seek sources outside it, or indeed outside the country, they must affirmatively resist the picture being dishonestly painted by those with a local byline.

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In addition to Alpha News, John Gilmore is also a contributor to The Hill. He is the founder and executive director of Minnesota Media Monitor.™ He blogs at and is on Twitter under @Shabbosgoy. He can be reached at Wbua@nycunarjfza.pbz.



John Gilmore

John Gilmore is an author, freelance writer & former opinion columnist for Alpha News. He blogs at & is @Shabbosgoy on Twitter