The Department of Homeland Security is warning that right-wing extremists are an equal or in some cases greater threat to America than ISIS.
A new intelligence assessment, circulated by the Department of Homeland Security this month and reviewed by CNN, focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists and comes as the Obama administration holds a White House conference to focus efforts to fight violent extremism.
Some federal and local law enforcement groups view the domestic terror threat from sovereign citizen groups as equal to — and in some cases greater than — the threat from foreign Islamic terror groups, such as ISIS, that garner more public attention.”
The government says these are extremists who believe that they can ignore laws and that their individual rights are under attack in routine daily instances such as a traffic stop or being required to obey a court order.
The Southern Poverty Law Center recently released a report which found that 75% of domestic terror incidents were carried out by lone wolf extremists. Mark Potok, SPLC senior fellow and editor of the report said, “Our study clearly shows the urgent need for federal agencies to reinvigorate their work studying and analyzing the radical right. And it’s important to recognize the trend away from organized groups committing acts of domestic terror. As Timothy McVeigh demonstrated with the Oklahoma City bombing, lone wolves and small cells of domestic terrorists can create massive carnage.”
Potok added, “The lone wolf’s chief asset is that no one else knows of his violent plans, which makes them exceedingly difficult to disrupt. It is imperative that authorities, including those gathering at the White House next week, take this threat seriously. Anything less would be an invitation to disaster.”
The danger from jihadists abroad is real, but it is the homegrown right-wing radical who has taken anti-government rhetoric preached on Fox News and talk radio to heart. Those on the right who really believe that they are above the law pose a threat to everyone else.
An attack by right wing radicals is either carried out or foiled every 34 days, but domestic terror doesn’t remind people of 9/11, so most Americans ignore the threat. ISIS gets all of the attention, but the lone wolf right-wing extremist is a threat that is already on the attack.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association