Saturday, June 27, 2015
Time to go after the dangerous ones.
Now that reality has intruded and law enforcement has acknowledged that domestic right wing white terrorists are a greater danger than the foreign variety, people are beginning to demand that federal law enforcement shift their focus that way.
Tracking homegrown extremist groups was an emphasis after the 1993 Waco siege and the Oklahoma City bombing two years later. But after Sept. 11, 2001, the FBI has shifted its focus to international terrorism.Time for DHS to actually look to providing some security from the real threat.
“The allocation of resources across different forms of terrorism has been skewed towards jihadi terrorism,” said Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks right-wing extremist groups. “The government has allowed the threat of other forms of terrorism to take a back seat.”
Like Ku Klux Klan lynchings of the past, the Charleston shooting appears designed to not just to kill individuals but to create terror among African-Americans.
U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., a longtime civil rights activist, said the federal government is going to have to do more to infiltrate extremist groups. Clyburn brought up the example of efforts against the Klan in the 1960s and 1970s.
“These groups cannot be allowed to continue to float around, they’re ratcheting things up. People have been ignoring this stuff and now all of a sudden nine people are dead,” Clyburn said.
Dylann Roof, who is charged with killing nine African-Americans at a prayer meeting, cited the white supremacist group Council for Conservative Citizens in his purported online “manifesto.”
The Department of Homeland Security issued a report in 2009 warning of a growing threat from right-wing extremism. But the report drew criticism from conservatives and veterans groups who said it unfairly singled out returning military veterans as possible recruits.
The analyst who wrote the report, Daryl Johnson, said his domestic terrorism team was disbanded and he left the agency.
Johnson, who now does consulting work, said in an interview that he rates the DHS efforts on homegrown extremist groups as “poor, not serious.”
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