The Escalating Terrorism Problem in the United States

June 2020

The United States faces a growing terrorism problem that will likely worsen over the next year. Based on a CSIS data set of terrorist incidents, the most significant threat likely comes from white supremacists, though anarchists and religious extremists inspired by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda could present potential threats as well. Over the rest of 2020, the terrorist threat in the United States will likely rise based on several factors, including the November 2020 presidential election.

Domestic Terrorism Conference Report

January 2020

The National Counterterrorism Center, together with FBI and DHS, held a conference September 23-24, 2019, to examine the U.S. government’s approach to confronting the threat of domestic terrorism (DT) and to inform future DT policy. The conference convened stakeholders from academia, the private sector, and across the federal government, including intelligence and Non-Title 50 agencies, to explore four themes: Terminology, Authorities, Operations, and Expanding Partnerships.

Funding Hate

April 2020

A Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) investigation has found that dozens of white nationalist hate groups are able to accept donations and sell products online with the help of mainstream online merchants and payment processors like Amazon, DonorBox, and Stripe.

Prohibiting Private Armies at Public Rallies (2nd Edition)

July 2020

ICAP has categorized the relevant state laws into four groups: (1) constitutional provisions requiring the subordination of the military to civilian authorities; (2) statutes restricting unauthorized private militia activity; (3) anti-paramilitary-activity criminal laws; and (4) prohibitions on the false assumption of the uniform or duties of a peace officer or member of the military. The report describes these categories in more detail below and notes which states have statutes or constitutional provisions falling into each category. Following that summary is a chart listing each state’s relevant provisions, and finally each constitutional or statutory provision in full, organized by state. The chart also includes annotations of relevant case law.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Racism, White Supremacy, and Far-Right Militancy in Law Enforcement

August 2020

The government’s response to known connections of law enforcement officers to violent racist and militant groups has been strikingly insufficient.

The Tactics and Targets of Domestic Terrorists

July 2020

With a rise in domestic terrorism, it is increasingly important to analyze trends in terrorist tactics and targets. According to CSIS data, firearms were the most common weapon used in fatal attacks over the past five years by far-right, far-left, and Salafijihadist terrorists. In addition, the most common targets were individuals based on their ethnicity, race, or religion (such as African Americans, Latinos, Jews, and Muslims) for right-wing extremists; and government, military, and police targets for leftwing extremists and Salafi-jihadists.

An Online Environmental Scan of Right-wing Extremism in Canada

June 2020

This report represents the interim findings of a two-year study designed to increase understanding of the social media footprint of right-wing extremism (RWE) in Canada. This work is part of a larger project designed to understand RWE in Canada led by Ontario Tech University (OTU), in partnership with Michigan State University and the University of New Brunswick. This team are currently working on a similar project designed to map offline RWE in Canada. The project follows a similar study delivered in 2015, enabling researchers and policymakers to understand how RWE has changed in the past five years.

Demonstrations & Political Violence in America: New Data for Summer 2020

September 2020

The US Crisis Monitor — a joint project between ACLED and the Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) at Princeton University— collects real-time data on these trends in order to provide timely analysis and resources to support civil society efforts to track, prevent, and mitigate the risk of political violence in America. With supplemental data collection extending coverage back to the week of Floyd’s killing in May, the dataset now encompasses the latest phase of the Black Lives Matter movement, growing unrest related to the health crisis, and politically motivated violence ahead of the November general election.

Far-Right Extremist Mobilization Surges During U.S. Unrest

August 2020

The United States is experiencing significant turmoil right now, forced to confront three ongoing shocks: the public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic’s economic impact, and the fluid socio-political effects of the nationwide protests against systemic anti-Black racism. These shocks have clear geopolitical implications and are already manifesting in areas ranging from global public health to inspiring other movements for racial equity. But, also relevant to U.S. national security concerns, non-state extremist actors have inserted themselves into events associated with these shocks — namely the anti-lockdown and anti-racism protests — to exploit the socio-political discontent behind them and further their ideological agendas.

Network Enabled Anarchy

September 2020

How Militant Anarcho-Socialist Networks Use Social Media to Instigate Widespread Violence Against Political Opponents and Law Enforcement.

COVID-19: How Hateful Extremists Are Exploiting the Pandemic

July 2020

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Commission for Countering Extremism has heard increasing reports of extremists exploiting the crisis to sow division and undermine the social fabric of our country.

IntelBrief: A Conspiracy of Dunces: QAnon and the Threat to the U.S. Homeland

July 2020

QAnon is a right-wing conspiratorial movement that blends, creates, alters, and co-opts ‘theories’ to fit an evolving narrative underpinned by the core notion that the ‘Deep State,’ led by a cabal of elitist pedophiles, is actively working to usurp President Donald Trump. Q’s identity is unknown, but those posting in the Q name desperately want its followers to believe that someone with a military intelligence background is unveiling secret knowledge to vanquish the ‘Deep State.’

The QAnon Conspiracy Theory: A Security Threat in the Making?

July 2020

The QAnon conspiracy theory, which emerged in 2017, has quickly risen to prominence in the United States. A survey of cases of individuals who have allegedly or apparently been radicalized to criminal acts with a nexus to violence by QAnon, including one case that saw a guilty plea on a terrorism charge, makes clear that QAnon represents a public security threat with the potential in the future to become a more impactful domestic terror threat. This is true especially given that conspiracy theories have a track record of propelling terrorist violence elsewhere in the West as well as QAnon’s more recent influence on mainstream political discourse.

 

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