NEW YORK—In response to the news that law enforcement officials uncovered a plot in which a Maryland man allegedly planned to target journalists and politicians with a “widespread terrorist attack,” PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel released the following statement: 

“The bone-chilling details of this plan to target journalists and politicians with murderous violence are a sobering reminder of the threats journalists and others face for uncovering and speaking the truth. Around the world, PEN America works to safeguard writers and reporters who are despised for what they do. For such attitudes to take hold here in the United States, even among extremists, tolls an alarm bell for our democracy. That on this very day that the president tarred a prominent news outlet as an “enemy of the people” is no coincidence. The President’s vitriol toward the media risks legitimizing feelings of hatred and impulses to violence. The dangers are escalating and the President bears grave responsibility to do his part to call a decisive halt to all attacks on the media, including and especially his own.”    

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PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. pen.org

CONTACT: Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager: agasparian@pen.org