(September 8, 2020 / JNS) White supremacists present “the most persistent and lethal threat” to the United States, reported Politico on Sept. 4, citing draft reports from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“Lone offenders and small cells of individuals motivated by a diverse array of social, ideological and personal factors will pose the primary terrorist threat to the United States,” reads the initial draft reviewed by the outlet. “Among these groups, we assess that white supremacist extremists—who increasingly are networking with like-minded persons abroad—will pose the most persistent and lethal threat.”
Despite two later drafts, which were also reviewed by Politico, describing the white-supremacist threat in slightly different wording, all three versions conclude that “among DVEs [Domestic Violent Extremists], we judge that white supremacist extremists (WSEs) will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland through 2021.”
The drafts also state that 2019 was the deadliest year for domestic violent extremists since the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995, which killed 168 people and injured more than 680 others.
“Among DVE [domestic violent extremist] actors, WSEs [white supremacist extremists] conducted half of all lethal attacks (8 of 16), resulting in the majority of deaths (39 of 48),” read the drafts.
In a recent MSNBC interview, Acting U.S. Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said, “I have no qualms criticizing the white supremacy threat. Neither does the secretary, neither does the Department of Homeland Security. We recognize when those people act out violently, that they show the highest level of lethality, meaning if you compare the number of violent incidents to the numbers of deaths, the numbers of deaths relative to the incidents is very high compared to other types of threats.”
Additionally, Russia will most likely be “the primary covert foreign influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation,” state the drafts, which add that “foreign terrorist organizations will continue to call for Homeland attacks but probably will remain constrained in their ability to direct such plots over the next year.”
In addition to the aforementioned threats, the Trump administration has also made going after far-left violent extremists, such as those who call themselves Antifa, or “Anti-fascist,” a priority, especially amid riots in cities nationwide following the death of African-American George Floyd, 46, who died on May 25 in the custody of Minneapolis police.
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