October 18, 2017 Posted by Daryl Johnson in Domestic Terrorism

UNITED STATES, [US]--Just over two months ago, on August 12, 2017, James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of peaceful counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville, killing Heather Heyer, one of the demonstrators. Fields’ act was treated as the crime it was: He was charged with second-degree murder and hit-and-run connected to Heyer’s death, along with several crimes related to the injuries of other victims. Yet given the political nature of the violence, and given the power of terrorism as a label, many have called for treating Heyer’s death as terrorism. Fields championed white supremacist, neo-Nazi ideas—virulent ideas just as hateful as jihadism. Moreover, Fields’ vehicle attack resembles nothing less than those in Barcelona, Berlin, London, Nice, and other cities in the past two years. President Trump has notoriously avoided harsh condemnations of right-wing violence despite being quick to criticize anything similar on the Islamist end. But others in his administration do not share his hesitation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions labeled Fields’ attack “domestic terrorism,” which federal law defines as trying to intimidate a civilian population or affect government policy through violence in an area of U.S. territorial jurisdiction. On Lawfare, Mary McCord, the former acting assistant attorney general for national security, made a powerful case that “our federal criminal laws recognize domestic terrorism for what it is: the moral equivalent of international terrorism. View More>>

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