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White Supremacist Domestic Terror Threat Looms Large In US
By Staff, Agencies
On October 6th, Chad Wolf, the acting US secretary of homeland security, released his department’s annual assessment of violent threats to the nation. Analysts didn’t have to dig deep into the assessment to discover its alarming content.
In a foreword, Wolf wrote that he was “particularly concerned about white supremacist violent extremists who have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years. [They] seek to force ideological change in the United States through violence, death, and destruction.”
Two days later, the FBI swooped. It arrested 13 rightwing extremists who had allegedly been plotting to carry out a range of attacks in Michigan, including the kidnapping of Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Later revelations revealed that a group of anti-government paramilitaries that included some of those arrested had also discussed kidnapping the governor of Virginia.
The double strike, just days apart, of the threat assessment and the Michigan plot arrests marked an important moment in America’s tortured history of racist terrorism. US authorities appeared not only to have woken up finally to the extent of the white supremacist threat but were actually doing something about it.
As the FBI director Christopher Wray told Congress in February, “racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists” have become the “primary source of ideologically-motivated lethal incidents” in the US. The danger overshadowed the terrorist threat that has dominated the security debate since 9/11.
Last year was the deadliest on record for domestic extremist violence since the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.
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