White Supremacist Terrorists Operate Like ISIS, Trump Shrugs
White supremacists are building an internationally cooperative terrorist movement – a movement Trump stokes while curtailing the mechanisms combating it.
Before the California Chabad synagogue terrorist attack this past weekend, the white supremacist terrorist (whose name we will not publish) posted an anti-Semitic open letter on 8chan announcing his attack. 8chan users cheered him on, with one user reportedly stating “get a high score.” The terrorist believed in creating a “white ethnostate” and the only means to get there is through violence – a foundational belief of white supremacists.
The terrorist said he was inspired by the white supremacist terrorist who killed 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand in March of this year. The Christchurch terrorist also posted a manifesto on 8chan before his attack with the same format as the Chabad synagogue terrorist. The Christchurch terrorist cited President Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity” and other various right-wing influencers as inspiration. The Christchurch terrorist had financial ties to the far-right Identitarian Movement in Austria, according to Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
These attacks came after the deadliest attack on Jews in US history killed 11 Jews in October 2018 at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. There have been numerous other attacks of this kind, while hate crimes and the threat of radical right-wing terrorism rises.
What we’re seeing here is an internationally cooperative terrorist movement of white supremacists built via online radicalization – a movement the President of the United States openly stokes while curtailing the mechanisms combating it.
Just last week, President Trump defended his August 2017 comments after the Charlottesville neo-Nazi protests where he said there were “very fine people” among the neo-Nazis. Candidate and President Trump’s fear-mongering, racist rhetoric targeting migrants, Muslims, and other people of color is well-documented – and white supremacists love it.
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Meanwhile, President Trump and his administration have downplayed the threat of white supremacy for the past two years in spite of the increases in terrorist attacks. When asked if he thinks white nationalism is a threat after the Christchurch terrorist attack, President Trump said: “I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people…”
Reporter: “Do you see white nationalism as a rising threat around the world?”
Trump: “I don’t really.”
— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) March 15, 2019
This is a dangerous lie, to say the least.
As Mark Potok, an expert on the radical right, outlined in his latest for Rantt, white supremacy is clearly on the rise:
Another study, by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, found that the American far right was behind nearly twice as many domestic terror plots as Islamist groups from 2008 to 2016 — 115 cases versus 63 from radical Islamists. The Anti-Defamation League reports that 71 percent of killings by extremists in the United States between 2008 and 2017 were carried out by radical rightists. And the numbers of both hate groups and hate crimes have recently been rising.
I highlighted the growing threat of American radical right-wing terrorism in an article for The Independent:
Last year, the FBI announced that hate crimes rose 17 percent in 2017 — the third consecutive year hate crimes have risen. Just yesterday, The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) published their “Year In Hate” analysis tracking hate groups around the US. They found hate groups surged by 30 percent over the last four years. That makes 2018 the fourth consecutive year of hate group growth.
To further bolster this point, the FBI and DHS reportedly prepared a report dated May 10, 2017, called “White Supremacist Extremism Poses Persistent Threat of Lethal Violence.” Notably, the report asserted that:
White supremacists “were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016 … more than any other domestic extremist movement.”
On June 23, 2017, the Trump administration cut funding ($400,000) from the “Countering Violent Extremism” program which backed an anti-white supremacist organization founded by former neo-Nazis. And according to The Daily Beast, the DHS disbanded their Domestic Terror Unit last year:
The Department of Homeland Security has disbanded a group of intelligence analysts who focused on domestic terrorism, The Daily Beast has learned. Numerous current and former DHS officials say they find the development concerning, as the threat of homegrown terrorism—including white supremacist terrorism—is growing.
The Trump administration claims to be tough on terrorism, but they only appear to care about terrorism committed by brown people. So why doesn’t President Trump take the threat of white supremacist terrorism seriously? Does he recognize they are part of his base? Does he espouse these views himself? Regardless of the reason, the President is putting lives at risk with his inaction. White supremacist terrorists are behaving like ISIS online and we are not implementing the tactics that we used against ISIS to combat their online radicalization and recruitment. In fact, Twitter reportedly won’t ban white supremacists because it would also mean some Republican politicians would be banned too.
At Rantt Media, we take the threat of the radical right extremism very seriously. We have a partnership with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR), whose team of PhDs and experts on the radical right have published over two dozen articles on our site. If you’d like to learn more, you can read more about this growing threat.
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