On March 17, 2021, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a report warning that “domestic violent extremism groups” pose an “elevated threat” to the national security of this country.
Of particular growing concern: white supremacist organizations fueled by wild conspiracy theories who believe in a “Deep State” controlled by pizza parlor pedophiles. Collective anger unites these dangerous fanatics who believe that the November 2020 presidential election was stolen from the former President by a mysterious “one world order.” This theory continues to be hyped among “dark web” cults led by murky figures like QAnon and repeated by opportunistic politicians ginning up “big lie, fake news” propaganda.
Within these right-wing nuts, there are dangerous terrorists – demonstrated by the violent insurrectionist takeover of the nation’s Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.
The far-reaching conspiracy theories, promoted by white supremacists and some Republican-led collaborators, now pose a more significant threat to the national security of this nation than most of those convicted of international terrorism-related offenses.
Federal Judges and Prosecutors Fear Violence from Domestic Extremist
The continuing use of political campaigns and shock television networks like FOX News and AOL to promote the thoroughly debunked “Big Lie” conspiracy theory about the November 2020 election has prompted some federal prosecutor and even federal judges to express concern that more violence is likely.
This concern was illustrated by the recent conviction of a Trump supporter named Brendan Hunt, who threatened to kill members of Congress after the January 6 insurrection. According to the Washington Post, Hunt posted a threatening diatribe on the far right-wing BitChute website just days after the January 6 insurrection, calling on readers to “kill your senators.” Hunt’s threat was directed exclusively at Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Charles Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
In effect, the former President, through psychologically unhinged supporters like Brendan Hunt and white nationalist groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, poses a “domestic terrorism threat” to not only the American rule of law but to the democratic order of the United States.
Domestic vs. International Terrorist
The tragic, inescapable fact is that the former President has engaged in unlawful actions and conspiracy incitements that pose a more serious threat to America than the 969 people the U.S. government has prosecuted and incarcerated based upon actual allegations of “international” terrorism, according to The Intercept.
The Intercept’s database shows that there are currently 359 people charged with international terrorism-related offenses now in federal custody, including 69 awaiting trial with a presumption of innocence. The Intercept’s recent Trial and Terror report offered this assessment:
“Very few terrorism defendants had the means or opportunity to commit an act of violence. The majority had no direct connection to terrorist organizations. Many were caught up in FBI stings, in which an informant or undercover agent posed as a member of a terrorist organization. The U.S. government nevertheless defines such cases as international terrorism.
“536 terrorism defendants have been released from custody, often with no provision for supervision or ongoing surveillance, suggesting that the government does not regard them as imminent threats to the homeland.
“A large proportion of the defendants who did have direct connections to terrorist groups were recruited as informants or cooperating witnesses and served little or no time in prison. At present, there have been 34 such cooperators. By contrast, many of the 346 defendants caught up in FBI stings have received decades in prison because they had no information or testimony to trade. They simply didn’t know any terrorists.”
Hundreds Who Ransacked Capitol Charged
Federal investigators have identified over 540 of the thousands of Trump supporters who took part in the January 6 violent attempt to overthrow the U.S. government—more than 400 of whom have been charged with an array of offenses by federal prosecutors.
There is credible evidence that the violent takeover of the Capitol was pre-planned, as was the violence that followed the President’s rally. There is even some evidence that Republican lawmakers gave the leaders of the insurrection tours of the Capitol Building days before the takeover.
Trump stated publicly on the day of the insurrection that he “loved” the treasonous rioters. In March, he followed that up with the false claim that his murderous supporters were good people in search of hugs and kisses from the Capitol police.
Spreading False Narratives About Jan 6 Promotes Domestic Terrorists
The former President continues to repeat his public support for the January 6 insurrectionists and reaffirms his “Big Lie” conspiracy theories. Both of these actions lead credence to the rhetoric of his white supremacist supporters, who use them as recruiting material. This reality is precisely why federal prosecutors and judges consider domestic terrorists an imminent national security threat.
The question that must be asked is this:
Why hasn’t federal law enforcement targeted Trump, his armies of white nationalists supporters, and his entrenched coalition of Republican allies, who have given “material support” and political cover to the January 6 terrorists, as they have targets in the Muslim American community?
The answer may lie in a December 8, 2020 Columbia Human Rights Law Review article (The Anatomy of a Federal Terrorism Prosecution: A Blueprint for Repression and Entrapment) written by Collin Poirot, a Brooklyn attorney and University of Texas law school graduate.
“As the FBI shifts from a period of primarily targeting Arab- and Muslim-Americans to a wider focus on leftists and activists of color more broadly, the pre-existing machinery of surveillance, entrapment, and prosecution is likely not only remain in use, but to be expanded upon. The abundance of FBI investigations … against so-called ‘Black Identity Extremists’ (BTE) since 2015 proves that the infrastructure built to repress Muslim Americans—particularly Black Muslim Americans—and Arab Americans is now being directly weaponized against other dissident communities and movements. Already in 2020, the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) have approached multiple activists organizing for justice for George Floyd—who was killed by Minneapolis police officers—and have alternatively attempted to entrap them or pushed them to work as informants. A straightforward explanation of how the FBI sets up and carries out these operations can inform community members and advocates, so they are better prepared to recognize, avoid, and challenge these abusive practices.”
Imagine the reaction of Trump’s white supremacist supporters and the 70 percent of the nation’s Republicans who still have favorable opinions of the former President if former President Barak Obama were to engage in the same behavior as Trump. Imagine if Black Lives Matter activists or Latinos, or Muslim Americans in traditional clothing, had attacked our nation’s Capitol. The answer is obvious. There would have been an oppressive, authoritarian fear-based campaign and “war on domestic terror” that would have brutally targeted communities of color for decades.
That realization is appalling and illustrates the continuing bias and prejudice of those who hold the levers of power and set the agenda for law enforcement in this country.