The biggest and most dangerous group of terrorists in America is now being ignored by the Trump administration.
The president and his advisers apparently believe all terrorists have dark skin, but the facts show that the vast majority of terrorism incidents — and killings — have been perpetrated by white Americans.
Trump’s Move Hurts Law Enforcement
The DHS group that Trump shut down was a top level working group of intelligence analysts who were also domestic terrorism experts. By eliminating their group Trump has drastically reduced the amount of information available to U.S. law enforcement agencies concerning credible threats from white supremacists and domestic terrorists who have a history of violence and mass murder.
The move came as the FBI and other anti-terrorism agencies have reported that there is increasing threat within the United States from right-wing extremism.
DHS Concerns That the U.S. Will Not Be Prepared
And according to The Daily Beast, this has caused a huge amount of concern within DHS that they will not be prepared for the next domestic terrorism incidents.
One DHS official, speaking anonymously, said:
“We’ve noticed DHS analysts have significantly reduced their production on homegrown violent extremism and domestic terrorism while those remain among the most serious terrorism threats to the homeland.”
Law enforcement officials from around the country say they are now receiving much less material from DHS since they shut down the office focusing on domestic terror threats.
“It’s been very quiet lately,” Sgt. Mike Abdeen, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “It’s changed with the new administration. It doesn’t seem to be as robust, as active, as important — it’s not a priority.”
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has claimed that her agency is concerned about domestic terrorism, but former DHS officials say their recent actions undercut those claims.
They Can’t Have It Both Ways
“You hear the DHS Secretary and this administration say how domestic terrorism is a clear priority and how resources will be bolstered,” said Nate Snyder, a former DHS official who focused on violent extremism. “But you can’t say that and then all of a sudden get rid of the unit that’s there to detect threats and share information with our first responders, law enforcement, and federal partners. You can’t have it both ways.”
By failing to take white domestic terrorism seriously Donald Trump is putting American lives at risk. It is just one more example of how he has failed to properly perform the duties of President.
Trump knows white nationalists and white terrorists in the U.S. are part of his political base of support, and that is why he does not take their threats seriously. He may think he is doing the smart thing politically by giving in to white extremists, but in the long run he is hurting not just the country, but also himself.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.