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The list of 78 terror attacks the White House says the media didn’t cover — but they did

Lauren Carroll
By Lauren Carroll February 8, 2017
Linda Qiu
By Linda Qiu February 8, 2017

After President Donald Trump wrongly accused the media of not covering terrorist attacks, the White House released a list of 78 attacks it deemed to be underreported.

We rated Trump’s initial claim Pants on Fire, and the White House’s assertion that most of attacks it identified "have not received the media attention they deserved" is almost equally as baffling.

The list includes widely covered incidents as those in Paris; San Bernardino, Calif.; Brussels; Orlando, Fla.; and New York City — reporting on these attacks often prompted Trump to comment immediately. Other attacks, like ones in Chad and Saudi Arabia, received much less attention but also resulted in no fatalities.

We found that the media reported on every one of the incidents in some fashion, except an alleged October 2015 nondeadly attack in Egypt that we could not independently verify. Whether the media covered the events enough is a matter of opinion, but it would be wrong to suggest the events weren’t covered at all.

Here’s the White House’s list (which includes a number of misspellings) and some of the reporting we found on each attack.

"TIMELINE: September, 2014 - December, 2016




September, 2014

TARGET: Two police officers wounded in knife attack

ATTACKER: Abdul Numan Haider"

Numerous international news organizations covered this non-deadly attack, including the New York Times, CNN, BBC and Fox News.


September, 2014

TARGET: One French citizen beheaded

ATTACKER: Jund al-Khilafah in Algeria"

The attackers released a video of this beheading of a tourist to the media, and it was picked up by international news organizations like the New York Times, NBC and Reuters.


October, 2014

TARGET: One soldier killed and one wounded in vehicle attack

ATTACKER: Martin Couture-Rouleau"

This attack appeared in newspapers and on television shows across the United States, as it happened just across the border in Canada.


October, 2014

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

ATTACKER: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau"

This was the second attack in Canada in a single week, and it targeted government buildings. The garnered significant coverage; a search of’s television database garners more than 275 clips that mention the attacker’s name.


October, 2014

TARGET: Two police officers wounded in knife attack

ATTACKER: US person"

This non-deadly attack, carried out by a man named Zale Thompson, was covered in the New York region and on national television.


November, 2014

TARGET: One Danish citizen wounded in shooting

ATTACKERS: Three Saudi Arabia-based ISIL members"

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for this non-deadly attack, which was covered by numerous U.S.-based media outlets.


DATE: December 2014

TARGET: One American killed in knife attack

ATTACKER: Dalal al-Hashimi"

As an attack involving an American citizen, this incident, which took place at an upscale shopping mall, was covered by every major news network in the United States for several days, as well as major newspapers.


December, 2014

TARGET: Two Australians killed in hostage taking and shooting

ATTACKER: Man Haron Monis"

This hostage incident at a Lindt Cafe received worldwide coverage, even as it was happening. CNN, for example, showed a live feed of Australian authorities monitoring the situation. The New York Times wrote at least four related in-depth articles.


December, 2014

TARGET: Three police officers wounded in knife attack

ATTACKER: Bertrand Nzohabonayo"

This non-deadly attack received most of its coverage in the French media, but U.S. outlets reported it, as well, as part of a series of attacks in France.


January, 2015

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

ATTACKER: Amedy Coulibaly"

This hostage event received extensive coverage; it happened two days after the infamous Charlie Hebdo attack. Television news networks covered this story as it was unfolding, broadcasting live from outside the supermarket while the hostages were inside. At PolitiFact, we wrote a fact-check about it.


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"

Major U.S.-based news outlets covered this attack on the five-star Corinthia Hotel, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Newsweek, and NBC.


January, 2015

TARGET: Two US citizens wounded in shooting

ATTACKER: Saudi Arabia-based ISIL supporter"

This attack was covered by a few major American news outlets, though briefly. Contrary to the White House’s description, news outlets were inconsistent about whether this attack wounded one or two people.


February, 2015

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

ATTACKER: Moussa Coulibaly"

U.S. outlets covered this non-deadly attack, noting how soon it took place after the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack.


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"

This attack received coverage over several days in the American news media, including multiple stories from the New York Times and at least 70 mentions over three days on CNN.


March, 2015

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

ATTACKERS: Two ISIL-aligned extremists"

This massive attack hit westerners, and thus received extensive coverage from numerous American and international outlets. The attack also garnered coverage more recently, as Germany arrested a suspect who was seeking asylum.


April, 2015

TARGET: One US citizen wounded in knife attack

ATTACKERS: Pakistan-based ISIL supporters"

We found reports of a Pakistan shooting that wounded an American, but not a stabbing. This attack, involving terrorists with a possible ISIS connection, received some media coverage.


April, 2015

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

ATTACKER: Sid Ahmed Ghlam"

Media outlets covered French authorities’ arrest of Sid Ahmed Ghlam, foiling a larger attack.


April, 2015

TARGET: One police officer killed and two wounded in shooting

ATTACKER: Nerdin Ibric"

Most media coverage of this attack came out of Europe. We could not find any American sources.


May, 2015

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

ATTACKERS: Two US persons"

This was a major American news story in 2015 that received wall-to-wall coverage throughout the first several days of May 2015.

Beyond covering the shooting itself, media outlets reported about the provocative event, centered on drawing the muslim Prophet Muhammad, before it took place. Outlets also covered the investigation into the attack, the attackers’ backgrounds, and the subsequent trial.


June, 2015

TARGET: No casualties; one police officer attacked with knife

ATTACKER: US person"

Given that this incident took place in the United States, it received a good amount of coverage from U.S. news outlets — who emphasized that the man, Usaama Rahim, wielded the knife as authorities went to question him about his potential terrorism ties.


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"

Some western media covered this attack, including the New York Times, though sparingly, as no one was killed.


June, 2015

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

ATTACKER: Unidentified"

As this attack took place at a tourist destination, the second in one week following the Al Jurah attack, it received coverage by a New York Times reporter in Cairo, USA Today, and television outlets.


June, 2015

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

ATTACKERS: Seifeddine Rezgui and another unidentified attacker"

This incident received significant coverage, given that it was was a massive attack at a popular tourist destination. The New York Times wrote more than a dozen articles about the attack, and every major television news outlet reported on it.


June, 2015

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

ATTACKER: Yasin Salhi"

This incident took place on the same day as the comparatively massive Sousse, Tunisia, attack. Nevertheless, western news outlets covered the Lyon explosion and suspect’s arrest.


July, 2015

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

ATTACKER: Unidentified ISIL operatives"

Several American media outlets covered this attack.


July, 2015

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

ATTACKER: Unidentified ISIL-Sinai operative"

Given that ISIS operatives released a video statement threatening to kill the Croatian hostage — and later a purported picture of the victim — this incident caught the media’s attention.


August, 2015

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

ATTACKER: Ayoub el-Khazzani"

A U.S. soldier was one of the wounded, and three Americans subdued the assailant, so this attack received extensive coverage. The New York Times published at least six articles. A search of "Spencer Stone," the wounded soldier, on yields more than 150 television mentions in the three days following the incident.


September, 2015

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

ATTACKER: Unidentified"

This attack wounded four U.S. soldiers, yet there was limited coverage from the American media.


September, 2015

TARGET: One Italian civilian killed in shooting

ATTACKER: Unidentified"

Several American media outlets covered this ISIS attack.


September, 2015

TARGET: One police officer wounded in knife attack

ATTAKER: Palestinian national"

Most media coverage of this event came from European outlets, rather than American.


October, 2015

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

ATTAKER: Unidentified ISIL-Sinai operatives"

We could not find any western coverage of this nondeadly event. The only reference we could find to an October 2015 attack on an airfield in this region was two lines in an anonymous blog about ISIS.


October, 2015

TARGET: One police officer killed in shooting

ATTAKER: Farhad Jabar"

Several American media outlets covered this attack.


October, 2015

TARGET: One Japanese civilian killed in shooting

ATTAKER: Unidentified"

Several American media outlets covered this attack, for which ISIS took credit.


October, 2015

TARGET: 224 killed in downing of a Russian airliner

ATTAKER: Unidentified ISIL-Sinai operatives"

Given the scope of the casualties — and the public’s fascination with plane crashes — this incident received extensive coverage in the American media.


November, 2015

TARGET: Four wounded in knife attack on a college campus

ATTAKER: US person"

This non-deadly attack, carried out by a student at the University of California, Merced, was covered by California local and state media, as well as numerous national outlets.


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"

This was the largest attack in Europe in years. Media outlets gave the attack wall-to-wall coverage for days — covering the attack as it was breaking, mourning the victims, and reporting the subsequent investigations and political ramifications in Europe and the United States.

For example, the New York Times published dozens of stories, as did USA Today. A search on’s television database for "Paris" in the five days following the attack yields more than 2,200 hits, including more than 75 for CNN alone. PolitiFact wrote about it in the context of domestic politics a couple times.


November, 2015

TARGET: One Italian citizen wounded in shooting

ATTAKER: Unidentified"

The New York Times and Al Jazeera America covered this nondeadly attack on a Catholic missionary, but most coverage came from Italian and South Asian news outlets.


December, 2015

TARGET: Two Bosnian soldiers killed in shooting

ATTACKER: Enes Omeragic"

Most major media reporting on this event came from European outlets, rather than American.


December, 2015

TARGET: 14 killed and 21 wounded in coordinated firearms attack

ATTACKERS: Two US persons"

The deadly San Bernardino shooting took place in the middle of the day in the United States and received massive covered. American media outlets thoroughly reported the news as it was breaking, including the backgrounds of the shooters, victims’ stories, and the political ramifications — especially because it took place immediately before the 2016 presidential election primaries.

The New York Times says it wrote more than 100 stories about the attack. A search on’s television database for "San Bernardino" in the five days following the attack yields more than 1,500 hits, including more than 60 for CNN alone. PolitiFact wrote about it a couple times.


December, 2015

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

ATTACKER: Muhyadin Mire "

This nondeadly attack received some coverage in the American media, including from CNN and the New York Times.


December, 2015

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

ATTACKER: Unidentified ISIL-Caucasus operative"

Several American media outlets covered this attack, including CNN, the New York Times, and USA Today.  


January, 2016

TARGET: Three European tourists stabbed by militants, security guards shot and killed at least one of the attackers.

ATTACKERS: Unidentified ISIL operatives"

This attack received limited coverage from American outlets, though the New York Times and USA Today have at least mentioned it.


January, 2016

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

ATTACKER: Tarek Belgacem"

This event received significant coverage, especially because it took place on the first anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Numerous large Western media outlets covered it, including, the Wall Street Journal, two articles from the New York Times, CBS, USA Today and CNN.


January, 2016

TARGET: One police officer wounded in shooting

ATTACKER: US person, Edward Archer of Yeadon Pennsylvania"

The attacker stole an officer’s firearm and used it to shoot a cop sitting in his patrol car. Both local and major national news outlets reported on the incident, given that it occurred in the United States and the public’s interest in violence involving police.


January, 2016

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

ATTACKER: Unidentified"

Some American media outlets reported on this nondeadly attack at a hotel.


January, 2016

TARGET: One Jewish teacher wounded in machete attack

ATTACKER: 15 year-old Ethnic Kurd from Turkey"

The New York Times covered this attack, but we didn’t find any other coverage from American media outlets.


January, 2016

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

ATTACKER: Nabil Fadli"

Given the large number of western casualties, this ISIS suicide bombing received a large amount of coverage from numerous American news outlets, including USA Today and Fox News.


January, 2016

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

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

These coordinated attacks were covered by numerous American outlets, including CNN,  the Washington Post, the New York Times, USA Today, and Fox News.


February, 2016

TARGET: Four civilians wounded in machete attack at a restaurant

ATTACKER: US person, Mohamed Barry from Guinea"

Numerous Ohio-based and national outlets covered this event, including the Washington Post, CNN, Fox, the Columbus Dispatch.


February, 2016

TARGET: One police officer wounded in knife attack

ATTACKER: Safia Schmitter"

USA Today was the only major American news source we could find who reported on this attack, carried out by a 15-year-old girl.  


March, 2016

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

ATTACKER: Mehmet Ozturk"

The suicide attack on Istanbul’s main shopping street killed four people, including two American citizens, so it understandably received substantial coverage in the United States — including from the New York Times, USA Today, CNN, ABC and many others.   


March, 2016

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

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

The coordinated suicide bombings in Brussels were one of the major terrorist attacks of the year and considered one of the deadliest in Belgian and European history, as numerous news organizations noted. Trump himself called the city a "horror show" in the wake of the attack, the audio of which was used in an ISIS video.


April, 2016

TARGET: Three wounded in bombing at Sikh temple

ATTAKERS: Three identified minors"

Coverage of the nonfatal bombing wasn’t extensive but certainly existed. We found  stories from Fox News and the Guardian.


June, 2016

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

ATTAKER: US person"

The White House’s suggestion that the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, was underreported truly baffles us. The Tampa Bay Times, among many others, covered the developments in real time. PolitiFact issued an explainer on guns and gun violence in the immediate aftermath, and we fact-checked Trump’s own speech responding to the shooting.


June, 2016

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

ATTAKER (sic): Larossi Abballa"

Abballa pledged allegiance to ISIS during a standoff with police, Reuters, the Guardian, the New York Times and many others reported.


June, 2016

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

ATTAKER (sic): ISIL-Khorasan operative"

The Taliban and ISIS both claimed responsibility for the attack, named one of the deadliest attacks on foreign contractors since the war in Afghanistan began, according to the Washington Post, Stars and Stripes, and the AFP.


June, 2016

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

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

The terrorist attack at Ataturk Airport was widely reported. Several news outlets covered the attack live.


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"

The worst terrorist attack in Bangladeshi history earned a lot of media attention, including over 150 mentions on national TV and over 150 news reports the week after it occurred.


July, 2016

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

ATTACKER: Mohamed Bouhlel"

The Bastille Day attack in Nice dominated the news for days, and Trump himself quickly responded to the attack in media interviews .


July, 2016

TARGET: Four civilians wounded in axe attack on a train

ATTACKER: Riaz Khan Ahmadzai"

Initial reports identified Ahmadzai as a teenage refugee from Afghanistan, but he was later discovered to be a Pakistani refugee.


July, 2016

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

ATTACKER: Mohammad Daleel"

The July 24 Ansbach bombing, the fourth of a series of attacks to hit southern Germany in months and the first suicide blast in recent German history, was widely covered.


July, 2016

TARGET: One priest killed in knife attack

ATTACKERS: Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean"

We searched Lexis and found over 250 stories on the July 26 church attack published the same day. Here are examples from the Washington Post, France 24 and Vocativ.


August, 2016

TARGET: Two police officers wounded in machete attack

ATTACKER: Khaled Babouri"

A Google search on the attack shows at least 50 reports published the day it happened.


August, 2016

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

ATTACKER: Smail Ayad"

The fatal stabbing on Aug. 23 was covered by Australian and British press alike (the victims were British nationals).


September, 2016

TARGET: Two police officers and a civilian wounded in shooting

ATTACKER: Mesa Hodzic"

The Denmark edition of Local, an English news network in Europe, reported on the Aug. 31 shooting about 80 times.


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"

The discovery of a suspicious car near Notre Dame led NPR’s morning coverage on Sept. 8.  Bloomberg reported that three women were arrested in Paris for the failed bombing guided by the Islamic State in Syria.


September, 2016

TARGET: One civilian wounded in knife attack

ATTACKER: Ihsas Khan"

Khan’s "ISIS-inspired" stabbing was covered widely by Australian press, and also made headlines in U.S. media.


September, 2016

TARGET: 10 wounded in knife attack in a mall

ATTACKER: Dahir Ahmed Adan"

The St. Cloud mall stabbing was covered by local, national and international media alike. (The attack also became subject of a campaign ad debunked by PolitiFact Colorado.)


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"

The Sept. 17-19 bombings in New York and New Jersey attracted widespread attention. Here’s a timeline from USA Today, an explainer from PBS and a CNN piece on Trump saying he agreed with early reporting of a possible foreign connection.


October, 2016

TARGET: Two police officers wounded in stabbing

ATTACKER: Belgian national"

The stabbing was covered by CNN, The Guardian, and the BBC to name a few.


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

ATTACKER: Ibrahim Sulayman"

As the Military Times, AFP and the AP reported, no one but Sulayman was hurt in the collision.


October, 2016

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

ATTACKER: Syrian national"

The Western media at large paid very little attention to this attack, but local Swedish press covered the incident and reported that Swedish officials concluded the attack was not an act of terrorism.


October, 2016

TARGET: One killed in knife attack

ATTACKER: Unknown"

ISIS claimed responsibility for the Oct. 16 fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old boy a week after it occurred, leading to widespread coverage of the incident. We found examples of reporting from Reuters and the Associated Press.


November, 2016

TARGET: No casualties; failed IED attempt near US Embassy

ATTACKERS: Philippine nationals aligned with the Maute group"

Law enforcement successfully detonated a bomb on Nov. 28, as was covered by the Washington Post, Fox News, CBS and scores of other news organization.


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"

Google News identified more than 90 articles written on the attack at Ohio State University on Nov. 28, the day of the attack. The Columbus Dispatch published a timeline of the events, while NBC revealed the suspect’s identity that night.


November, 2016

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

ATTACKER: Chadian national"

This attack received little press attention, but Africa News and the AFP reported that there were no injuries.


December, 2016

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

ATTACKERS: Several gunmen"

A Nexis search produced 119 articles from Dec. 18, the day of the shootings carried out by ISIS, to Christmas day. CNN and the Associated Press published reports the night of the attack.


December, 2016

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

ATTACKER: Anis Amri"

The Dec. 19 attack on a Berlin Christmas market was covered widely by the press. The New York Times alone published a dozen articles in two and a half days on new developments, the search for the perpetrator and the victims.

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The list of 78 terror attacks the White House says the media didn’t cover — but they did