The Office of Intelligence Analysis, US Department of Homeland Security has expressed concern at the resurgence of violent rightwing extremism in the United States. Reproduced below is the final, Outlook, section of the Report [pdf] (emphasis added).
Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment
7 April 2009
… [Main Report]
DHS/I&A [Department of Homeland Security, Office of Intelligence & Assessment] assesses that the combination of environmental factors that echo the 1990s, including heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms restrictions and returning military veterans, as well as several new trends, including an uncertain economy and a perceived rising influence of other countries, may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements. To the extent that these factors persist, rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength.
Unlike the earlier period, the advent of the Internet and other informationage
technologies since the 1990s has given domestic extremists greater access to
information related to bomb-making, weapons training, and tactics, as well as targeting of individuals, organizations, and facilities, potentially making extremist individuals and groups more dangerous and the consequences of their violence more severe. New technologies also permit domestic extremists to send and receive encrypted communications and to network with other extremists throughout the country and abroad, making it much more difficult for law enforcement to deter, prevent, or preempt a violent extremist attack.
A number of law enforcement actions and external factors were effective in
limiting the militia movement during the 1990s and could be utilized in today’s climate.
- Following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, the militia movement declined in total membershipand in the number of organized groups because many members distanced themselves from the movement as a result of the intense scrutiny militias received after the bombing.
- Militia membership continued to decline after the turn of the millennium as a result of law enforcement disruptions of multiple terrorist plotslinked to violent rightwing extremists, new legislation banning paramilitary training, and militia frustration that the “revolution” never materialized.
- Although the U.S. economy experienced a significant recovery and many perceived a concomitant rise in U.S. standing in the world, white supremacist groups continued to experience slight growth.
- DHS/I&A will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in rightwing extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political,economic, and social factors that drive rightwing extremist radicalization.
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