FBI Director James Comey determined that the mass murder of nine black people in their place of worship, including a Democratic state Senator who was working to get police to use body cameras after the shooting of an unarmed Walter Scott, is not terrorism.
Comey explained his thinking that alleged shooter Dylann Roof is not a domestic terrorist because he had no political motive:
“Terrorism is act of violence done or threatens to in order to try to influence a public body or citizenry so it’s more of a political act and again based on what I know so more I don’t see it as a political act. Doesn’t make it any less horrific the label but terrorism has a definition under federal law,” he said during a visit to Baltimore.
The FBI is investigating the shooting as a hate crime, as is the Charleston police department.
On Friday, Department of Justice spokeswoman Emily Pierce said the DOJ was investigating the massacre as both a hate crime and an act of terrorism, “The department is looking at this crime from all angles, including as a hate crime and as an act of domestic terrorism.”
Terrorism is “the use of violence to physically and psychologically terrorize a population by an individual or a group in order to draw attention to a cause, enact political change, or gain political power.” Dylann Roof claimed blacks were taking over. He clearly had a right wing agenda to “preserve traditional social orders,” which is a form of terrorism. “Right Wing terrorism is commonly characterized by militias and gangs; many times these groups are racially motivated and aim to marginalize minorities within a state.”
Racially motivated to marginalize minorities.
So the FBI thinks this isn’t terrorism because somehow they don’t see the political agenda behind the alleged shooter’s motives to get rid of black people and start a race war, or his obsession with Trayvon Martin’s murder.
That is sort of like saying the Civil Rights Movement didn’t have a political agenda. There is nothing more political than attacking southern blacks in their place of worship to intimidate them and make a political statement.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.