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Dysfunctions Last Updated: Oct 18, 2020 - 1:16:13 PM


The Alleged Plot in Michigan Isn’t an Anomaly. The Domestic Terrorism Threat Is Rising.
By HSNW, 13 October 2020
Oct 18, 2020 - 12:56:41 PM

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Last week’s announcement by federal authorities that six men had been arrested and charged with conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) (seven other individuals were arrested on related state charges) is a chilling example of the evolving domestic terrorist threat facing America. Kevin K. McAleenan, the former acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and Thomas K. Plofchan III, the former counterterrorism adviser to the secretary, write that the arrests in Michigan represent “one of the most significant incidents highlighting law enforcement concerns that domestic extremists.” They add that “the predominant terrorist threat at home today is increasingly domestic in nature,” and that “Within the domestic terrorist threat landscape, racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists, and specifically white-supremacist extremists, represent the ‘most persistent and lethal threat,’ according to the recent DHS threat assessment.”

Last week’s announcement by federal authorities that six men had been arrested and charged with conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) (seven other individuals were arrested on related state charges) is a chilling example of the evolving domestic terrorist threat facing America. Just two days earlier, DHS had released its first annual Homeland Threat Assessment, which categorized the leading threats facing the homeland. The DHS assessment stated that “ideologically motivated lone offenders and small groups” of “Domestic Violent Extremists” now “pose the most likely terrorist threat.”

Kevin K. McAleenan, the former acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and Thomas K. Plofchan III, the former counterterrorism adviser to the secretary, write in the Washington Post that the arrest of the alleged Michigan conspirators represents “one of the most significant incidents highlighting law enforcement concerns that domestic extremists might try to capitalize on heightened social and political tensions around the November election, or conduct attacks in response to perceived infringement of liberties by government pandemic response policies. This is a potent and explosive mix.”

Both lone actors and more-organized domestic-threat groups are given oxygen and support in metastasizing online communities – and the nature and reach of these nature of these online technologies hamper the effectiveness of traditional law-enforcement investigation and disruption methods. These social media technologies also challenge law enforcement’s ability to keep pace with the accelerating velocity of radicalization and action, McAleenan and Plofchan, say, adding:

Exacerbating the problem are hostile foreign actors — led by Russian elements using overt and covert means, such as troll farms and bots — seeking to exploit seams in American society, amplifying social and political divisions. Intelligence professionals have assessed that these actions are designed to promote extreme ideologies from both the left and the right. The warped anti-government ideology allegedly espoused by those charged in Michigan is often promoted by these foreign misinformation campaigns, which are intended to foster discord and unrest.

Taken together, these emerging trends make clear that terrorist threats to the United States have evolved dramatically since 9/11. Foreign terrorist adversaries remain a severe threat to U.S. interests both at home and abroad, but the predominant terrorist threat at home today is increasingly domestic in nature, conducted by American citizens inspired by multiple extremist ideologies.

Within the domestic terrorist threat landscape, racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists, and specifically white-supremacist extremists, represent the “most persistent and lethal threat,” according to the recent DHS threat assessment. But others, including both anti-government and anti-authority extremists, increasingly find cause to mobilize in response to political and social tension.

They conclude: “The United States today is clearly grappling with domestic terrorist threats that are changing rapidly and have become more likely and frequent sources of deadly acts of violence than foreign threats.”


Source:Ocnus.net 2020

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