A recently released report by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security says that racially motivated extremists (read: white supremacists) are one of the biggest threats to domestic safety.
CNN reports that a joint report from both agencies found that 2019 was “the most lethal year” for domestic violent extremism since 1995. 32 people were killed in racially motivated attacks in 2019 and 24 of those attacks were committed by white supremacists. Data also shows that of the 57 deaths that happened between 2017-2019 as a result of domestic terrorism, 47 were the result of racially motivated attacks by white supremacists.
It’s almost like four years of a white nationalist presidency, combined with unchecked hate speech on social media platforms, and people like Tucker Carlson spreading white nationalist talking points to millions each night on TV is bad, actually. Whoever would have guessed that violent speech would inevitably lead to violent actions?
Everyone? Yeah, I know.
“In 2019, the FBI and DHS assessed RMVEs (Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists), primarily those advocating for the superiority of the white race, likely would continue to be the most lethal DVE (Domestic Violent Extremist) threat to the Homeland,” the report said. “Our agencies had high confidence in this assessment based on the demonstrated capability of RMVEs in 2019 to select weapons and targets to conduct attacks, and the effectiveness of online RMVE messaging calling for increased violence.”
Following the release of the assessment, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said that “the report confirms what has been clear for some time: The greatest terrorist threat we face comes from radicalized lone offenders with easy access to weapons.”
“They attack soft targets and have a variety of motivations, but a large majority of the most significant attacks have been carried out by white supremacist extremists,” the California Democrat added in a statement.
The report, which is mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020, was sent to Congress nearly one year past the original deadline.
CNN first reported in February that Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Chairman Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, and Ranking Member Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, sent a letter demanding the agencies produce the report by March 1, after blowing past the original June 2020 deadline.
At the time, the letter underscored a broader effort by lawmakers to reclaim oversight authority of agencies that regularly dismissed requests from Congress to provide comprehensive national security assessments under then-President Donald Trump due to explicit and implicit political pressure from the White House.
I guess I can understand why the Trump administration would’ve been reluctant to issue reports that told their voter base they’re a threat to national security.
The report comes after the DHS issued an updated threat bulletin that warned “through 2020 and into 2021, government facilities and personnel have been common targets” of domestic extremists. Considering that we started the year with a whole-ass failed insurrection at the Capitol, that shouldn’t be a surprise.
The bulletin also added that “historically, mass-casualty Domestic Violent Extremist (DVE) attacks linked to racially- or ethnically-motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) have targeted houses of worship and crowded commercial facilities or gatherings.” It’s unclear how the Biden Administration or Congress intends to combat the growing threat of white nationalism.