Los Angeles Times

Commentary: The T-word: When is an attack terrorism?

When a gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the atrocity called to mind the 2015 shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Despite apparent similarities, these violent incidents were described quite differently. The Associated Press reported that the Sutherland Springs attacker, who killed 26, "doesn't appear to be linked to organized terrorist groups." By contrast, the Atlantic declared that the Charleston attack, in which nine people were killed, was "terrorism." When an assailant shot to death 49 people last year at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, CNN called the massacre "the worst incident of domestic terrorism since 9/11." Last month,

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