A leading Muslim advocacy group is pushing government officials to call the suicide plane crash in Texas “an act of terror,” saying that if a Muslim had been flying the plane there would be no hesitancy to call it terrorism.

On Thursday, Andrew Joseph Stack III flew a small plane into the IRS's four-story office building in Austin, killing himself and at least one federal employee. Before the incident, Stack allegedly left a series of messages on a website expressing his disgust with the IRS, saying at one point that “violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.”
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“Whenever an individual or group attacks civilians in order to make a political statement, that is an act of terror,” said Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

“Terrorism is terrorism, regardless of the faith, race or ethnicity of the perpetrator or the victims,” said Awad, adding in a statement that “if a Muslim had carried out the IRS attack, it would have surely been labeled an act of terrorism.”

In the hours after the crash, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters that the incident looked to be “a criminal act by a lone individual.” And while Acevedo refrained from calling it an act of terror, he said the FBI, which is heading the investigation, would make the judgment call on how to categorize the crash.

A spokesman with the FBI’s San Antonio office on Friday said that the FBI was handling the case “as a criminal matter of an assault on a federal officer” and that it was not being considered as an act of terror at this time.