According to a disturbing new report released by the FBI
and the Department of Homeland Security, domestic extremist killings in the United States in 2019 were the highest in the country in 24 years.
According to the report, white supremacists were responsible for 24 of the 32 killings by extremists in five separate attacks in 2019 — the deadliest year for domestic extremist attacks since 1995.
According to the report, “gamification” — in which attackers try to “score” a high “kill count” — “inspired” some of the 2019 attacks and will likely continue to be a factor in future attacks.
According to the report, from 2017 to 2019, there were 57 deaths linked to domestic extremists, with 47 of them being racially motivated.
The report stated that “the greatest terrorism threat to the Homeland we face today is posed by lone offenders, often radicalized online, who look to attack soft targets with easily accessible weapons.” “Many of these violent extremists are motivated and inspired by a mix of socio-political goals and personal grievances against their targets.”
Domestic extremists killed more people
in America from 2017 to 2019, despite former President Donald Trump
's focus on closing borders and claiming foreign threats during that time.
Domestic extremists are expected to pose a greater threat in the future.
According to the report, “in 2019, the FBI and DHS assessed [that] Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists, primarily those advocating for the superiority of the white race, would likely continue to be the most lethal Domestic Violent Extremist threat to the Homeland.”
The alarming assessment was based on rightwing extremists’ ability in 2019 to “select weapons and targets for attacks, as well as the effectiveness of online... messaging calling for increased violence,” according to the report.
According to the report, “political disagreements within the United States could present opportunities for Domestic Violent Extremists to engage in violence against individuals perceived to have opposing ideologies, prominent political or public figures, or members of the media
covering these events.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement saying that the findings of the report confirm “what has been clear for some time: The greatest terrorist threat we face comes from radicalized lone offenders with easy access to weapons.”
“They attack soft targets and have a variety of motivations,” he added, “but the vast majority of the most significant attacks have been carried out by white supremacist extremists.”
At a hearing before the Senate
Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
testified that white supremacy
is the most serious domestic terrorism
threat facing the country.
According to Garland, “domestic violent extremists pose an elevated threat in 2021, and in the FBI’s opinion, the top... threat we face comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race.”
On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a new terrorism threat bulletin warning that “through 2020 and into 2021, government facilities and personnel have been common targets” of domestic violent extremists.
The FBI and DHS report in its entirety can be found here.