Photo by Masha George, Flickr CC

Donald Trump claims that his highly contested travel ban barring people from seven Muslim nations from entering the U.S. was necessary for national security purposes. But will the ban actually prevent terrorist attacks? An article in the Los Angeles Times points out that attacks within U.S. borders have primarily been carried out by individuals from nations that are not on the ban list. The men responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing were of Chechen decent for example, and most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, a notable exception from Trump’s executive order. The ban also fails to address extremism within the United States — Omar Mateen and Syed Rizwan Farook, who were perpetrators of the Orlando nightclub shooting and San Bernardino attack, respectively, were American citizens.  

In the article, sociologist Charles Kurzman explains that his research has not identified a single death since the 9/11 attacks caused by extremists from the seven nations that Trump placed on the banned list. Furthermore, only a small number of deaths have been correlated with individuals whose family ancestry are from those seven nations. Kurzman states,

“In general, Islamic extremists have accounted for a minuscule amount of the roughly 240,000 murders since Sept. 11, 2001 … I can only conclude that this is whipping up fear and hostility toward Americans who have family background from these countries.”