'Darkness and hatred': Qld victim's mother on Trump
THE mother of the British woman killed in the attack at Home Hill, Queensland, has slammed the White House list of "underreported" attacks, saying it's an example of the "horror" ignorance can lead to.
Rosie Ayliffe's daughter Mia died in an attack at the backpackers in August last year along with fellow Brit Tom Jackson.
Frenchman Smail Ayad, 29, has been charged with the alleged murder of Mia and Tom as well as 12 counts of assaulting police officers during the incident. Queensland police have consistently maintained there is no terror link in the tragic incident that was widely reported in Australian and international media.
"The possibility of Mia and Tom's deaths being consequent to an Islamic terror attack was discounted in the early stages of the police investigation through international collaboration on the parts of Queensland police department and the French anti-terrorist force," Ms Ayliffe said.
She said one of the reasons she had spoken out about her daughter's death was to rebut the "myth of a connection between my daughter's death and Islamic fundamentalism."
"This vilification of whole nation states and their people based on religion is a terrifying reminder of the horror that can ensue when we allow ourselves to be led by ignorant people into darkness and hatred," she said.
On Monday the White House released a list of 78 attacks it described as "executed or inspired by" the Islamic State group since September 2014. It said "most" on the list did not get sufficient media attention despite many having been widely reported.
Sydney's Lindt Cafe siege and the shooting of police worker Curtis Cheng in Parramatta are included.
Also on the list is the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, the Bastille Day attacks in Nice in 2015 and the co-ordinated terror attacks in Paris in November of the same year.
The list appeared to be hastily assembled, including several misspellings of the word "attacker".
US President Donald Trump said news outlets "have their reasons" for not reporting what he says is a "genocide" under way at the hands of the Islamic State.
The president made the claims during his first visit as commander in chief to the headquarters for US Central Command.
Mr Trump, who has made defeating IS a core goal of his presidency, did not specify which attacks were going unreported, which news media organisations were ignoring them, or offer details to support his claims.
"You've seen what happened in Paris and Nice," Mr Trump told a group of military leaders and troops during the visit.
"All over Europe it's happening.
"It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported.
"And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it.
"They have their reasons and you understand that."
White House spokesman Sean Spicer later tried to tone down the president's remarks, saying it was a question of balance.
"Like a protest gets blown out of the water, and yet an attack or a foiled attack doesn't necessarily get the same coverage," Mr Spicer said.
Al Tompkins at The Poynter Institute, a Florida-based journalism school, dismissed Mr Trump's criticism.
"To suggest that journalists have some reason not to report IS attacks is just outlandish," he said.