What We Can Learn About Mainstream Media Radicalisation From The Finsbury Attack

February 3, 2018

By Chris Turnbull - England

The Finsbury Park terror attack shows us how the mainstream media helps to radicalize terrorists. Extreme conspiracy and crazy, hate-filled website, Infowars, has been reported as being a source of Osborne’s radicalisation, however, this conveniently negates the role that mainstream media has clearly played in this attack — surely now it is time for the mainstream media to take some responsibility for the lies they print, and the lying politicians whose hate they amplify in doing so.

Until we demand more from the media — whether left or right — we can go expect more and more suffering, tragedy and horror as innocent people get caught up in the games of the power-elite who always seek to divide us.

Darren Osborne, the terrorist responsible for killing 1 and injuring 9 others victims — mowing them down with a van outside a Mosque in Finsbury Park, has been sentenced to 43 years in prison for his rampage of violence.

 His trial has also revealed that he was planning to kill Jeremy Corbyn, Osborne told the court that:
it would be one less terrorist off our streets.
And also referred to Corbyn as:
Mr terrorist sympathiser

Echoing the many lies and smears directed at Corbyn by the right-wing over the last couple of years, and showing that their propaganda can quickly turn into tragedy.

Osborne’s trial has revealed that he was greatly influenced, motivated and radicalized by far-right propaganda — sources such the as conspiracy and extreme right-wing “news” website, Infowars.

Its hosts, the increasingly deranged, Alex Jones and professional shouter, Paul Joseph Watson were named during the trial as sources of radicalisation. It was also revealed that Osborne was in contact with Britain First’s Jayda Fransen and that he had received emails from neo-Nazi, Tommy Robinson.

Paul Joseph Watson’s vile response to the Westminster terror attack.

However, absolutely no attention has been paid to the fact that much of the same kind of extreme right-wing narratives and far-right hate preaching can also be found in the vast majority of mainstream media news — which reached a fever pitch of lies and hatred around the time of the attack in June.

 And, of course, absolutely no attention has been paid to the fact that many of these motivating narratives — lies — were spouted by Theresa May and the Tories in a bid to defeat Corbyn during the general election.

 

Just a few weeks before the attack, on the day of the snap GE The Daily Mail and The Sun proudly displayed these jaw-dropping headlines formed of lies, smear, hatred and utter contempt for humanity itself:

 

Front Pages The Sun Daily Mail

The Sun and Daily Mail, 7 June 2017

These disgraceful headlines followed months and months of targeted attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, and Diane Abbott in which they had been smeared as being “threats to national security” — a narrative first spouted by former prime minister David Cameron.

Mail header

Mail Corbyn Jihadist BULLSHIT

The Daily Mail started their campaign of smear on Corbyn long before Infowars

This outrageous lie was also echoed time and time again by Theresa May — especially during the GE.

Following the Manchester terror attack in May last year, with the election campaigns in full swing, Corbyn responded by saying that we need to look at our foreign policy in response to these kinds of attacks by Islamic radicals — making the obvious link between our illegal wars and terrorism, Corbyn said:

Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home.

That assessment in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children. Those terrorists will forever be reviled and implacably held to account for their actions.

But an informed understanding of the causes of terrorism is an essential part of an effective response that will protect the security of our people, that fights rather than fuels terrorism.

Protecting this country requires us to be both strong against terrorism and strong against the causes of terrorism. The blame is with the terrorists, but if we are to protect our people we must be honest about what threatens our security.

Following this response Labour jumped in the polls, illustrating strong public support for this very elementary points and highlighting the need for a change in foreign policy.

May, however, responded to Corbyn by attempting to twist the narrative — painting Corbyn, yet again, as a threat to national security.

May said:

At the same time, Jeremy Corbyn has said that terror attacks in Britain are our own fault – and he has chosen to do that just a few days after one of the worst terrorist atrocities we have experienced in the United Kingdom.

And:

I want to make one thing very clear to Jeremy Corbyn – and it is that there can never be an excuse for terrorism – there can be no excuse for what happened in Manchester.

May, in a shameless display to pick up votes went on to say:

The choice that people face at the general election has just become starker.

Adding:

It’s a choice between me, working constantly to protect the national interest and to protect our security – and Jeremy Corbyn , who frankly isn’t up to the job.

Osborne, we now know, was on also planning to attack Jeremy Corbyn himself — his “hate letter’ gives a clear insight into what motivated his bloodthirsty rampage.

Transcript of the letter written by Darren Osborne, read out in court by Jonathan Rees QC:

Why are their terrorists on our streets today? Weve had 3 Recent terror attacks, our children splattered against the walls of concerts, part n parcel by all accounts, Mr Sadiq Khan, no it isn’t how you can let this happen, terrorists marching through our capital city, you’re a disgrace where was the public outrage after 1400 of our white british none muslim girls?
Where were you in Rotherham Lily allen Jeremy Corby nowhere to be seen, Just thinking about how many more inbred migrants you can bring into the country, the local harbour map of Rotherham mr Hussain wrote of character Reference For one of the rapists in court, really now, hang on a minute am I missing something here, where was you all, Jez & lil?

Don’t you fancy getting involved in that the only protest within the muslim community were when taxi drivers were asked to put cctv in their cars, seriously your taking the piss, mr Hussain has been promoted.

Don’t people get it, this is happening up and down our Green and pleasant land, Ferrel inbred raping muslim men hunting in packs preying on our children, this will be coming to a town near you soon, it most probably has, get back to the desert, you raping inbred bastards & climb back on ya camels. people don’t be swayed by corbyn & his Free packed lunch, & uni fees think of your childrens future, islams ideology doesn’t belong here & neither does Sharia law.
So mr Sadiq Khan how are you this morning?
I’d imagine your gonna have a hard job keeping your happy go lucky vibrant city in order, Part n parcel of living in a big city, carry on as normal, bk to ya day Jobs, what about you Jez?

Osborne concludes, most tellingly, by calling Corbyn…:

Mr terrorist sympathiser, or should I call you harold, “you dirty old man” put that in ya pipe, & have some sympathy for me, well Folkes gotta go busy day today.
Remember peaceful vigils only & please dont look back in anger, God Save the Queen.

It is clear from Osborne’s letter that he also considered to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to be a threat to the country as well (another common theme of right-wing propaganda).

Even the reference to Corbyn as “Harold” from the 1960’s sitcom, Steptoe and Son, calling him a “dirty old man” is a smear job directly lifted from mainstream right-wing media.

Both The Sun and The Daily Mail have repeatedly made this “joke” over the years.

Corbyn Steptoe DM 1Corbyn Steptoe DM 2

For the record, Harold is the name of the younger Steptoe, not old man Steptoe, whose name is Albert.

The court also released a timeline of Osborne’s internet activity, showing what kind of material he was likely to be looking at and thus what drove this kind of bizarre thinking and extreme hatred: essentially this is a timeline of the radicalization process itself:

Timeline of social media activity linked to Osborne in weeks before attack from Press Association:

May 16, 17, 18
Three episodes of the BBC drama Three Girls are aired.
Osborne’s estranged partner tells the court in a statement that he became “obsessed” with Muslims after watching the programme, which made them both “angry”.
She says it is possible the pair watched the episodes on catch-up at a later date.

May 22
Manchester terror attack.
Some 22 people die after Salman Abedi detonates a bomb at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

June 3
Osborne receives an email from Twitter inviting him to confirm his account.
7.15pm – Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen sends a direct message to Osborne on Twitter. The content of this message is not known.
Late evening – London Bridge terror attack. Eight people die in the knife and van atrocity.

June 4
12.48am–12.49am – A number of web searches for Jayda Fransen carried out on an iPad.
Views a number of tweets from her, including breaking news on London Bridge.
1.11pm–1.24pm – A number of Google searches for Britain First leader Paul Golding carried out on an iPad, followed by further searches for Jayda Fransen and Tommy Robinson, English Defence League founder.
Osborne receives an email welcoming him after joining Twitter.
10.36pm–10.38pm – Google searches for “syria bus bombing”, “manchester bombing”, “lee rigby” and “westminster bombing” carried out on an iPhone.

June 6
3.09pm–3.22pm – A number of Google searches for a variant of “muslim celebrating usis in tunnel” carried out on an iPhone.
Accesses Infowars article: “Proof: Muslims celebrated terror attack in London.”
9.09pm – Google search for “which party want to bring back the death penalty” carried out on an iPhone.

 

June 7
6.21pm – Google search for “bad things about labour” carried out on an iPhone.
6.22pm – Google search for “mayor of rochdale” and “local MP of Rochdale” carried out on an iPhone.
6.34pm – Google search for “sadiq khan” carried out on an iPhone.

 

June 9
Screenshot of an image captured on an iPhone of an email, probably a circular, from “Tommy Robinson” to “Darren Osborne”, inviting him to a rally in Manchester.
It says: “What Salman Abedi did is not the beginning and it won’t be the end. There is a nation within a nation forming just beneath the surface of the UK. It is a nation built on hatred, on violence and on Islam.”
The message is signed “Yours Truly, Tommy Robinson.”

June 14
Early hours – Grenfell Tower fire. Some 71 people die in the London tower block blaze.
9.01am–10.23am – A number of Google searches for Tommy Robinson carried out on an iPad.
6.16pm – iPhone screenshot shows a second email from “Tommy Robinson” to “Darren Osborne” on seeking justice for Chelsey Wright, of Sunderland.

June 17
10.10am – Osborne rents a Citroen van from Pontyclun Van Hire in Mid Glamorgan, Wales.
1.23pm–1.30pm – More Google searches for Tommy Robinson carried out on an iPad.
A tweet by Tommy Robinson – “Anger? When a Muslim bombed our kids we were told not to look back in anger?” – is viewed.
1.35pm – Google search for “sadiq khan says part and parcel” is carried out on an iPad.
1.37pm – Google search for ‘Jeremy Corbyn’ is carried out on an iPad.
3.22pm–3.37pm – A number of Google searches for Tommy Robinson carried out on iPad.
3.31pm – A tweet by Tommy Robinson – “Where was the day of rage after the terrorist attacks. All I saw was lighting candles” – is viewed on an iPad.
3.37pm – Google search for “sadiq khan carry on as normal” is carried out on iPad.
7.30pm–9.30pm – Osborne goes to the Hollybush pub, where he composes a handwritten letter said to have been found in the van used in the attack and is accused of “preaching racial hatred” by another customer.

June 18
Osborne travels to London.

June 19
12.15am – Osborne drives van into a group of Muslims tending to a man who has fallen ill.

Infowars Proof muslims PJW

Infowars Proof muslims PJW 2

The Infowars article by loudmouth hate preacher, Paul Joseph Watson, that Osborne is referenced to have accessed.

There can be no doubt that Osborne was also accessing vast amounts of mainstream media whilst carrying out these searches. It is easy to just blame the far-right hate preachers here, but honestly, how much more extreme is Paul Joseph Watson than The Sun, or Mail in their coverage of Corbyn, terrorism, or Muslims?

How much more extreme are the sick and disturbing narratives parroted by the Britain First hate preachers, than those parroted by May in response to terrorism in which she, once again, tried to blame Corbyn and smear him as terrorist sympathiser and national security threat?

A very clear link has been shown here between far-right hate preachers and actual terrorism with leading figures, Tommy Robinson, Paul Golding, and Jayda Fransen all mentioned by name as being in contact one way or another with Osborne.

Why then are these people not being investigated for inciting or inspiring terror?

If it was an Islamic terrorist such clear links would almost certainly be investigated, likely leading to detentions and prosecutions under the terrorism act.

Theresa May has always been quick to stress the need to clamp down on internet freedom following Islamic terror attacks, after the London Bridge attack in June, May was quick to blame the internet, saying:

We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed

Adding:

Yet that is precisely what the internet and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide.

And declaring that:

We need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.

Yet, oddly enough May and the right-wing media have been strangely silent when it comes to the kind of right-wing extremist propaganda that clearly helped to motivate, radicalize and inspire Osborne.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they are clearly part of the vile propaganda that does radicalise people and leads to such violent atrocities?

None of this is to say that the internet should be regulated by the nanny state, with May and co deciding what we can and can’t access, but rather this about the responsibility that the media, journalists, and above all else politicians should take for acts of terrorism, and the kind of language and information they put out there in doing so.

The right-wing press has become so vile and twisted over the years that much of it can be considered extremist hate preaching: and simply put propaganda to radicalize potential terrorists.

Yet, the mainstream media has not taken one shred of responsibility for this. Both they and the Tories spent their time and energy doing as much they could to smear Corbyn with a raft of ridiculous smears, endlessly repeating the doctrine that he is a threat to national security and a terrorist sympathizer who adored the IRA, and hates our country.

Such bile does have an effect — Osborne is testament to that fact, as was Jo Cox’s killer, Thomas Mair, and sadly many others.

As Corbyn said, we must understand and tackle the root causes of terrorism above all else, but the power establishment, of course, does nothing but create endless distraction from those root causes.

Writing their own versions of reality that have become hate-filled fantasy lands which feul more and more terrorism, and thus creates more and more innocent victims.

The mainstream media is the source of radicalization we should really be worried about,  and we should expect more from them, we should expect that their journalism isn’t likely to endanger people’s lives and that they should have a basic duty to balance and facts and some form sanity.

Whether left or right, the media and politicians must take responsibility for their actions.

Unless we force them to do so, it is impossible to imagine a world in which we can ever seriously tackle terrorist atrocities.

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