Former FBI Agent Reveals The Agency Could Fight Far-Right Violence But Chooses Not To


By Mike German
The Guardian (8/16/19)

Federal law enforcement officials have all the tools necessary to address far-right violence proactively – as my own successful investigations as an FBI undercover agent in the 1990s indicate. They have simply chosen as a matter of policy not to prioritize these cases. What role racism, latent or overt, plays in these decisions has yet to be explored.

There are currently 52 federal terrorism laws available to address entirely domestic acts of political violence. Congress has also passed five federal hate crimes statutes specifically designed to punish the types of violence white supremacists and other far-right militants often commit against vulnerable communities. Organized crime and conspiracy statutes can also be used to dismantle white supremacist gangs.

The FBI remains an overwhelmingly white, male organization, which may partly explain why it would treat white supremacist violence as a less serious concern than an imaginary Black Identity Extremist movement. 

When white nationalists commit deadly attacks like the El Paso shooting, these crimes fit the statutory definition of domestic terrorism. Terrorism remains the FBI’s top priority. It ranks hate crimes fifth and organized crime sixth, however. So, when FBI agents or federal prosecutors initially label far-right violence as hate crimes, or gang crimes, they de-prioritize these cases, limiting the available resources and narrowing the scope of the investigations.

Worse, as a matter of policy, the justice department defers the vast majority of hate crimes to state and local police and prosecutors, who are often ill-equipped or uninterested in pursuing these cases. Justice department crime victim surveys estimate there are approximately 230,000 violent hate crimes annually, yet federal prosecutors charge only about 25 hate crimes defendants each year. State and local law enforcement, however, are not picking up the slack. Only about 12% of state and local law enforcement agencies report hate crimes occurring in their jurisdictions, and in some states, reported hate crimes are rarely prosecuted as such.

These deficiencies in the law enforcement response to hate crimes are not new. …(

Michael German, a former FBI agent, is a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program and the author of Disrupt, Discredit and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy)

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Ex-FBI Agent Confirms Federal Authorities Have Downplayed White Supremacist Violence For Too Long

Democracy Now! (8/5/19)

According to The New York Times, white extremist shooters have now killed at least 63 people in the United States over the past 18 months. Late last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that crime driven by racism and white supremacy was on the rise compared to the past nine months. But former FBI agents say there is reluctance within the agency to tackle white nationalist violence in part due to President Trump’s rhetoric.

We speak with Mike German, fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law. From 1988 to 2004, German served as an FBI agent specializing in domestic counterterrorism.

Link to Story, Transcript and 11-Minute Video


Proud BOYS Deem Portland A Success Because Trump Sided With Right-Wing Extremists

By Mary Papenfus
HuffPost (8/18/19)

A former Infowars staffer who organized the Proud Boys protest in Portland Saturday deemed the “mission” a success Saturday because President Donald Trump sided with the right-wing extremist group against the anti-fascist “antifa.”

“Go look at President Trump’s Twitter,” Joe Biggs told the Oregonian (see the video above). “He talked about Portland, said he’s watching antifa. That’s all we wanted. We wanted national attention, and we got it. Mission success.”

Biggs said he was pleased with the relatively peaceful day between the Proud Boys — which describes its members as “western chauvinists” — and counter-protesters, who included antifa activists. Portland police reported that at least 13 people were arrested and six were injured.

Trump has been harshly criticized for not condemning white nationalism and white supremacy as deadly right-wing violence continues to climb in the U.S. Pressure on the president mounted after 22 people were killed in a Walmart in El Paso in an apparently hate-fueled mass shooting early this month. An anti-immigrant manifesto authorities have linked to the suspected gunman echoes Trump’s attacks on a Hispanic “invasion” of America.

Trump defends violent right

Instead of addressing increasing right-wing violence, however, Trump again repeated his warning the day of the Portland protest that he is considering labeling the leftist antifa a “terrorist” organization. Antifa has no single organization, but is a loose collection of groups that take on far-right in the streets, sometimes violently. Nor have antifa activists been linked to a single death, unlike gunmen compelled by extreme right-wing views. …

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Militant Neo-Nazi Group Actively Recruiting For Live-Fire Training Camps

By Mrk Lmoureux & Ben Makuch
VICE News (8/16/19)

The Base, a neo-Nazi group aiming to provide military and survivalist training to fellow white supremacists, has been ramping up its activities including a massive recruitment campaign and a planned “hate camp.”

A neo-Nazi group focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists has been conducting a massive recruitment drive and claims to have already conducted live-fire training with its members.

The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia. The images often include a small contingent (typically one to three) of masked, camo-clad men holding weapons standing in front of The Base’s flag, a black flag with three white lines running down the centre.

The Base, a neo-Nazi group aiming to provide military and survivalist training to fellow white supremacists, has been ramping up its activities including a massive recruitment campaign and a planned “hate camp.”

Attacks committed by far-right extremists expressing similar worldviews and ideologies are on the rise. Last week, an alleged Atomwaffen Division member was arrested for planning terrorist attacks on his local synagogue.

A post from a suspected member shows a masked man in front of an electric transformer holding a book known to be an insurgency bible to militant neo-Nazis, with the caption: “The electric grid as well as many other of the system’s tentacles that keep the lemming class fat and happy are extremely weak and easy to target.”

A series of other posts allegedly shows its Georgia “cell” in live-firing training. One photo depicts a masked man shooting a target painted with a Jewish Star of David. Other posts call for “tit-for-tat” violence.

The group has also been conducting postering campaigns in several of the cities they claim to have members in. …

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