THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
June 24, 2015
The New York Times

Homegrown Radicals More Deadly Than Jihadis in U.S.

by Scott Shane

In the 14 years since Al Qaeda carried out attacks on New York and the Pentagon, extremists have regularly executed smaller lethal assaults in the United States, explaining their motives in online manifestoes or social media rants.


But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.

The slaying of nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church last week, with an avowed white supremacist charged with their murders, was a particularly savage case. But it is only the latest in a string of lethal attacks by people espousing racial hatred, hostility to government and theories such as those of the "sovereign citizen" movement, which denies the legitimacy of most statutory law. The assaults have taken the lives of police officers, members of racial or religious minorities and random civilians.

Non-Muslim extremists have carried out 19 such attacks since Sept. 11, according to the latest count, compiled by David Sterman, a New America program associate, and overseen by Peter Bergen, a terrorism expert. By comparison, seven lethal attacks by Islamic militants have taken place in the same period. . . .

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WHO IS A 'TERRORIST'? There is no generally accepted definition of terrorism.

A UN High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change defined terrorism as "any action intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organisation to do, or abstain from, any act."

"Oklahoma City Bombing: Innocent Dead, Falsely Accused," The Wisdom Fund, April 20, 1995

"Suicide Bombing: The Facts, Logic, and Views," The Wisdom Fund, May 9, 2002

"White Terrorism Is Not A Concept The US Takes Seriously," The Wisdom Fund, January 8, 2004

"Justice in America," The Wisdom Fund, July 4, 2009

"American Patriots Question 9/11," The Wisdom Fund, September 11, 2011

Alex Henderson, "10 of the Worst Terror Attacks by Extreme Christians and Far-Right White Men, alternet.org, July 24, 2013

["After these killings in Nevada, and the murders at a Jewish community center in Kansas, and the murders at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and multiple murders by members of the 'sovereign citizens' movement in the last few years, it's worth remembering that since 9/11, right-wing terrorism has killed many more Americans than al Qaeda terrorism," Paul Waldman writes in the Washington Post.--Conor Friedersdorf, "If the Las Vegas Killers Were Muslims We'd Call Them Terrorists, theatlantic.com, June 10, 2014]

Sonali Kolhatkar, "The Rise of the New, Liberal Islamophobia, Truthdig.com, October 9, 2014

Scott Burchill, "Radical Islam and the West: the moral panic behind the threat," theconversation.com, June 16, 2015

Justin Raimondo, "Who Is a 'Terrorist'?," antiwar.com, June 22, 2015

[Such attempts to address extremism fail because they evade rather than address the central causes of the ongoing expansion of terrorism and political violence around the world, especially in the Arab world.--Rami G. Khouri, "Beware the hoax of countering violent extremism," aljazeera.com, September 29, 2015]

[Americans are more at risk from violence by armed white Christian fanatics than they ever were from Muslims.--Juan Cole, "Abortion Clinics, White Christian Terrorism and GOP Candidates, juancole.com, November 28, 2015]

"Why They Hate Us," The Wisdom Fund, December 19, 2015

[B.J. Soper took aim with his AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and fired a dozen shots at a human silhouette target. . . .

Deep in the heart of a vast U.S. military training ground, surrounded by spent shotgun shells and juniper trees blasted to shreds, the Central Oregon Constitutional Guard was conducting its weekly firearms training.--Kevin Sullivan, "Primed to fight the government," washingtonpost.com, May 22, 2016]

"United States of Hate: Muslims Under Attack," BBC, May 24, 2016

[2014 national survey of 175 law enforcement agencies ranked sovereign citizens, not Islamic terrorists, as the most pressing terrorist threat . . .

In fact, a 2016 report by the US Government Accountability Office noted that "of the 85 violent extremist incidents that resulted in death since September 12, 2001, far-rightwing violent extremist groups were responsible for 62 (73%) while radical Islamist violent extremists were responsible for 23 (27%)."--Oliver Conroy, "They hate the US government, and they're multiplying: the terrifying rise of 'sovereign citizens'," theguardian.com, May 15, 2017]

Mythili Sampathkumar, "Majority of terrorists who have attacked America are not Muslim, new study finds," independent.co.uk, June 23, 2017

[Since World War II, during a supposed golden age of peace, the United States military has killed some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in at least 82 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries.--David Swanson, "List of U.S. Wars and Hostile Actions," davidswanson.org, September 16, 2017]


"Las Vegas shooting: Gunman Stephen Paddock kills 50 people," bbc.com, October 2, 2017

"'No Way To Prevent This,' Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens," theonion.com, October 2, 2017

[Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, opened fire on a small Texas church on Sunday morning, killing 26 people, wounding at least 10 others--Tim Stelloh, Caitlin Fichtel, Tracy Connor, "Who Is Devin Kelley, the Texas Church Shooter," nbcnews.com, November 6, 2017]

[Everytown for Gun Safety, released a revealing study, "Mass Shooting in the United States, 2009-2016," that argued that, in the U.S., most mass shootings are related to domestic or family violence. It reports that from 2009-2016, there were 156 "mass shootings," incidents in which four or more people were shot and killed. . . . "These incidents resulted in 1,187 victims shot: 848 people were shot and killed, and 339 people were shot and injured."--David Rosen, "Terrorism and White Men's Murderous Rage," counterpunch.org, November 7, 2017]

David Neiwert, "The time for talking about white terrorism is now," theguardian.com, November 26, 2017

"Florida Shooting: Nikolas Cruz Is Charged With 17 Counts of Murder," nytimes.com, February 15, 2018

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