The mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, has placed increased scrutiny on government agencies, and their role in preventing violence from the far-right. Last year, in 30 of America’s largest cities, according to a recent study from California State University, San Bernardino.
The problem even prompted the FBI to release a rare statement, warning of “the continued threat posed by domestic violent extremists and perpetrators of hate crimes.” Yet, the national response to threats from white supremacy pales in comparison to the U.S. response to Islamic terrorism after 9/11.
“No remotely comparable array of national power has been directed against the threat now emerging from the far right, a loose but lethal collection of ideologies whose adherents have killed roughly the same number of people in the United States, post-9/11, as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State combined,” writes Greg Miller, national security correspondent for The Washington Post.
In an interview with CBSN, Miller said officials are just beginning to ask if it’s time to “re-prioritize all of those resources” the U.S. aims at ISIS and al-Qaeda.
Post-9/11, the White House led the way in combating Islamic terrorism. But as Miller points out, the president’s rhetoric in 2019 “echoes” the agenda of the far-right movement.
“There are really deep concerns with many of the officials I talked to, that the president, our president at the moment, is making the problem worse through his words, which fan the kind of virulent animosities behind some of these attacks, but also because it makes it harder for the government to move resources against them,” Miller said.
Miller reports the Trump administration has “curtailed or disbanded” a Department of Homeland Security program designed to counter extremism. In addition, the president’s refusal to acknowledge Russian interference in the 2016 election, which helped amplify divisions among Americans, could be allowing far-right ideology to spread online.