Donald Trump has spent much of his political career trying to scare voters into thinking dangerous foreigners are coming for them.
But a new analysis from The Washington Post shows that the FBI arrests more domestic terrorists than Islamic extremists.
According to the report, “Most people arrested as the result of FBI terrorism investigations are charged with non-terrorism offenses, and more domestic terror suspects were arrested last year than those allegedly inspired by international terror groups.”
Screenshot of the numbers via The Washington Post:
More from the report:
The debate centers on whether federal law and law enforcement are too focused on Islamic terrorism and not paying enough attention to the rise in far right-wing extremism. In fact, according to the data, more domestic terrorist targets are being charged, and in both categories, law enforcement often leverage simpler crimes, such as violations of gun or drug laws, to prevent violence.
According to FBI figures shared with The Post, in the 2017 budget year there were about 110 people arrested after being investigated for actions inspired by foreign terror groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Of those, about 30 faced terrorism charges. The rest faced gun, drug, fraud or immigration charges.
Last year, out of about 100 such arrests, only nine defendants faced terrorism charges — a drop-off owed in part to a decline in the number of people attempting to travel overseas to join the Islamic State, the senior law enforcement official said.
In the 2017 budget year, FBI investigations led to the arrest of about 150 domestic terrorism suspects, according to law enforcement officials. The following year, the figure was about 120.
Trump is painting a picture of a world that doesn’t exist
The numbers reported by The Washington Post confirm earlier reporting that essentially debunks Donald Trump’s claims that America has been overrun by violent immigrants and foreign extremists.
Instead, violence is likely to be carried out by those already inside the country who are often native-born Americans.
The findings also destroy some of Trump’s key arguments in favor of policy items like his wall to keep immigrants out and his travel ban to keep Muslims from entering the U.S.
Still, don’t expect Donald Trump or his supporters to be fazed by any of it. After all, without a scapegoat for all of their troubles, their MAGA hats would be useless.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.