DHS Crushed This Analyst for Warning About Far-Right Terror | WIRED – DHS Crushed This Analyst for Warning About Far-Right Terror | WIRED – It was anything but a lucky guess on Johnson’s part. He spent 15 years studying domestic terrorist groups — particularly white supremacists and neo-Nazis — as a government counterterrorism analyst, the last six of them at the Department of Homeland Security. There, he even homebrewed his own database on far-right extremist groups on an Oracle platform, allowing his analysts to compile and sift reporting in the media and other law-enforcement agencies on radical and potentially violent groups. But Johnson’s career took an unexpected turn in 2009, when an analysis he wrote on the rise of “Right-Wing Extremism” (.pdf) sparked a political controversy. Under pressure from conservatives, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) repudiated Johnson’s paper — an especially bitter pill for him to swallow now that Wade Michael Page, a suspected white supremacist, killed at least six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. For Johnson, the shooting was a reminder that the government’s counterterrorism efforts are almost exclusively focused on al-Qaida, even as non-Islamist groups threaten Americans domestically.
White-Washing White Terrorism | PopularResistance.Org – By Ajamu Baraka, http://www.counterpunch.org/April 21st, 2014 —
In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a report on the growing threat of white supremacist extremist groups and their close connections with military personnel. The DHS report was based on data and analysis from an FBI report prepared under the Bush Administration in July of 2008 titled “White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel since 9/11.” In that report, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division found that white supremacist organizations were pushing their followers to join the military and enter either the Special Forces or the infantry, in order to gain the necessary skills to prepare them for the “coming race war.” As a result, the report found that:
“…military experience is found throughout the white supremacist extremist movement as the result of recruitment campaigns by extremist groups and self-recruitment by veterans sympathetic to white supremacist causes.”
And what was the response from Congress? Incredibly, the right wing in Congress alleged that the report was a partisan attack on them and as a consequence were able to have the report rescinded and wiped away from the DHS website – and out of the public’s awareness.
Burying the DHS report did not result in the elimination of the very real threat posed by the more violent wing of the radical right, a threat being played out by extremist forces throughout Europe, as well as the U.S.
The attack launched by F. Glen Miller should not have been unexpected. This individual has been around, and on law enforcement radar, for quite some time. He was at the infamous Klan attack in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1979 that resulted in the deaths of five anti-racist activists and has a long history with some of the most dangerous right-wing elements in the U.S.
But when, in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security reported that white supremacy is the US’s biggest threat for domestic terror, it was met with harsh criticism. Conservatives blasted the department for defining terror threats too broadly, instead of focusing on potential Islamic terrorists. Then-House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) was one of those who berated DHS, saying that they weren’t focusing on the real threats the US faces:
[T]he Secretary of Homeland Security owes the American people an explanation for why she has abandoned using the term ‘terrorist’ to describe those, such as al Qaeda, who are plotting overseas to kill innocent Americans, while her own Department is using the same term to describe American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation. Everyone agrees that the Department should be focused on protecting America, but using such broad-based generalizations about the American people is simply outrageous.
The report was titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” and it named white supremacists, radical anti-abortionists, and a few “disgruntled veterans” as most susceptible to recruitment by extremist groups, or to harboring resentment that may lead to domestic terrorism. DHS stressed that, during recessions, these threats go up, and law enforcement should be on the lookout for such extremism:
DHS/I&A has concluded that white supremacist lone wolves pose the most significant domestic terrorist threat because of their low profile and autonomy—separate from any formalized group—which hampers warning efforts..[…]
Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.
The report’s findings were congruous with previous studies that indicate right wing extremism is responsible for more instances of violence every year (with the exception of 2001, when the September 11th attacks happened) in the United States than Islamic extremist. It also tracks with the rise of hate groups in the US since 2000.