Domestic extremism cases in America have surged in the recent past. This is according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies latest report. Anti-Muslim, white supremacy, and antigovernmental ideologies are the lead-responsible factors.
The data affirms these extremists use these attacks for political gains. Also, as plots to create psychological impacts or redefine government policy. The Washington Post highlighted the following concerns relating to the CSIS data.
Tracing Domestic Extremism in America
The increased domestic extremism cases in the United States today are more than it was ten years ago. CSIS’s data points to right-wing extremism as the major cause of death, with record-high cases seen in 2020. The information points to 67 plots and 91 deaths associated with right-wing extremism. On the other hand, far-left views account for 66 victims and 19 deaths.
White supremacists are to blame for more than a quarter of right-wing incidents and death. Recent victims include a cross-section of American society like LGBT, Blacks, Jews, and people of color. The right-wing extremists responsible used guns, knives, and vehicles to attack victims, the data showed.
Religious institutions like synagogues, black churches, and mosques have also been victims. Abortion clinics and government buildings have suffered a similar fate as well. They have either been burned, bombed, threatened or hit with gunfire in the past six years.
The Far Right and Far Left Analogy on Domestic Terrorism
The data shows increased cases for both far-left and far-right incidents. Left-wing attacks reached a record high of 25 in 2020. Most of these incidents included attempts by extremists to tamper with day-to-day activities. The perpetrators hindered oil pipeline construction and attacked police and their facilities.
A case example is the Minneapolis Police facility torching over George Floyd’s death. Another scenario is president Donald Trump’s supporter’s death in the Portland gun shooting. This case of a gun shootout is the only instance of far-left violence in the data.
The far-right cases, in particular, emerged during government shutdowns in spring. Widespread racial demonstrations in the summer and presidential elections also increased these extremities. The Capitol storming incident is another far-right domestic extremism. Former police officers and military service members also increased their far-right extremism. A good number of whom took part in the ugly riot at the Capitol.
The data showed that nearly every state has been a victim of domestic attacks in recent years. Most of them suffered far right, far left, and other forms of aggression aimed at dividing the society.
Domestic Extremism and Social Media
The Washington Post highlights social media’s role in terrorism and associated events. According to Bruce Hoffman, extremists use social media to advance their ideologies. They also use these platforms to share their grievances and potential targets. Bruce Hoffman is a Georgetown University professor and counterterrorism specialist.
The Post found that social media like Facebook and websites use for extremism have risen between 2015 and 2020. Plus, the use of encrypted chat services by domestic extremists followed a similar suit. These trends peaked last year, with over 24 cases recorded.
On the flip-side view, extremists who did not use or lurk online posed big challenges. That is because such attackers don’t leave enough clues about their plans. Law enforcers say this is a great challenge in getting hold of the perpetrators.
Antagonism and Extremism
Militia groups like KKK and the Base had roles in at least 67 domestic extremism cases in the United States. But most of them appear to be working independently, a top attribute of recent major attacks.
The data shows some of these lone-rangers are perennial social media users. They use these platforms to operate and define their course. Most of which relate to supremacy, misogyny, antisemitism, homophobia, and several other claims.
One of the common theories for far-right advocates is the Great Replacement. This is the belief that the people of color are on the verge of replacing the White Race. This has led to 30 attacks against Black Lives Matter since 2015, with peak records in 2020.
The far-right advocates attacked BLM activists with guns, explosives, knives, and vehicles. During these events, racial justice protestant’s businesses suffered vandalism and torching. A good example is the black-owned coffee shop in Shoreline.
Immigrants to the United States have been the biggest victims of extremism attacks. People of color who are Muslim or assumed immigrants suffer most of these incidents. So, specialists are calling the federal government to have more domestic extremism data. That way, they can develop means of addressing the rising violence and attacks.