Domestic Terrorism

Intelligence Report Warned of White Supremacist Threats

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

I think we all know domestic terrorists pose a much greater threat to safety than foreign terrorists, and they almost always have, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have made that clear in an intelligence report.

Foreign Policy obtained a copy of a bulletin that warned the federal government and law enforcement agencies that white supremacists not only pose a greater threat; it stated that they will carry out attacks this year.

The report, dated May 10, says the FBI and DHS believe that members of the white supremacist movement “likely will continue to pose a threat of lethal violence over the next year.” [...]

The report, titled “White Supremacist Extremism Poses Persistent Threat of Lethal Violence,” was prepared by the FBI and DHS.

The bulletin’s numbers appear to correspond with outside estimates. An independent database compiled by the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute found that between 2008 and 2016, far-right plots and attacks outnumbered Islamist incidents by almost 2 to 1.

Here's the passage from the intelligence bulletin anticipating that there will be more attacks this year:

We assess most [White Supremacist Extremist (WSE)] lethal violence over the next year very likely will derive from the capabilities of lone offenders or small cells, rather than the resources of larger groups, due to the decentralized and often disorganized status of the WSE movement. Although plot-derived mass-casualty violence remains possible, we judge it more likely that violence will continue to be spontaneous and involve targets of opportunity. Despite a lack of shooting attacks in 2016, firearms likely will continue to pose the greatest threat of lethal violence by WSEs due to their availability and ease of use.

Given the events of this past weekend, I'm not sure how well this holds up in regards to individuals versus groups, although ramming a car into a group of people may have been "spontaneous" or a "target of opportunity."

One could hardly forget that the Department of Homeland Security published a similar report during the Obama administration and was blasted for doing so by right wing media.

If the wingnut media catches wind of this report they'll probably present it as evidence that the "deep state" is out to get them. That is to be expected, but I'm more concerned that someone in the Trump regime or White House will also attack this report.

White supremacists are a significant portion of what remains of Trump's base of support.

  • muselet

    If the wingnut media catches wind of this report they’ll probably present it as evidence that the “deep state” is out to get them. That is to be expected, but I’m more concerned that someone in the Trump regime or White House will also attack this report.

    The shrieks of outrage on talk radio will be deafening tomorrow morning, guaranteed.

    And if the White House doesn’t condemn the report, I might faint from shock.

    –alopecia

    • Georgie

      It’s already started on Facebook, I had to block people passing around a video from “Unite the Right”. It’s disgusting.

  • Aynwrong

    Apparently being a liberal means being blessed/cursed with a functioning memory. That 2009 DHS memo always comes to mind when white supremacy is in the headlines. I particularly remember Joe Scarborough’s reaction to it. On the radio he was screaming mad over it. On MSNBC he was an outright asshole about it.
    https://youtu.be/Tmz2e2s3BKU

    No one ever reminds him of his own words. What a shock.

    • muselet

      Semi-serious question: is Joe Scarborough ever not an outright arsehole?

      –alopecia

      • Aynwrong

        I think sometimes he’s trying to be the cable TV version of David Brooks, but that’s an act. The asshole from Scarborough Country is always lurking underneath.

      • Georgie

        Nope.

    • Joe Scarborough must be one of the worst people on television

      • Tony Lavely

        A low bar.

  • Badgerite

    I don’t care what kind of bullshit “disavowals” comes out of the trump’s mouth right now. It means nothing so long as he has white supremacists Bannonist extremists in the White House as “advisers”. Not to mention Bannon himself.

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    • Tony Lavely

      I don’t care what kind of bullshit comes out of the trump’s mouth right now.
      There. FIFY.

      • Badgerite

        That too. I literally cannot listen to him. 9 foot needles through the eyes would be a more pleasant and a more meaningful experience.
        How are we supposed to take anything he says as worth listening to when you know that if it is coming from him, 99.99999999% probability it is a lie.
        Or disgusting. Or, most probably, both.