Just four terror incidents from 2017 through 2019 involved left-wing extremists, or 4%.
By David Neiwert
Reveal / Center For Investigative Journalism (7/9/20)
Patrick Crusius is the quintessential Trump-era terror suspect: a White man, radicalized online, enmeshed in White nationalist ideology, directly inspired by preceding acts of terror and fueled by the angry belief that White men like himself are being “replaced” by brown-skinned immigrants.
“America is full of hypocrites who will blast my actions as the sole result of racism and hatred of other countries,” he wrote in his four-page manifesto, posted on 8chan just before he allegedly murdered 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, last August. “This is just the beginning of the fight for America and Europe.”
The horrific mass killing was promptly characterized by both journalists and authorities as an act of domestic terrorism: “There’s a statutory definition of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney John Bash of the Western District of Texas said the day after the attack – violent plots or acts intended for a domestic target, with the goal of instilling fear and furthering ideological goals. “This meets it.” The attack, he said, “appears to be designed to intimidate a civilian population. … And we’re going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is deliver swift and certain justice.”
A minority of plots and attacks (31%) involve Islamist extremists, while the majority (60%) involve those steeped in far-right ideologies, whether White supremacist, militia, anti-government Sovereign Citizen, or other forms of ideological racism and anti-Semitism.
Yet had the attack occurred only a few years earlier, there may have been a debate over whether Crusius should be considered a terror suspect at all. When Dylann Roof murdered nine parishioners at an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, then-FBI Director James Comey demurred when asked whether Roof’s act constituted terrorism. And Roof himself never faced terrorism charges. As recently as last July, FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress that, despite the evidence, “jihadist-inspired violence” remained “the greatest terrorist threat to the homeland.”
Growing threat from the right
The sea change in awareness of the domestic threat has come late. In the decade leading up to the Trump presidency, law enforcement failed to adapt as the right-wing threat grew in the United States. Nine years of domestic terror incidents compiled by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and Type Investigations and published in 2017 exposed a mismatch of efforts, with law enforcement focused on Islamist radicals with ties to overseas terror organizations, even as the primary source of domestic terror incidents, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, came from the far right.
Over the three years since, that picture has come into focus, as far-right domestic terror has become far more deadly.
That threat exploded into public view in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, the site of Unite the Right, a violent ingathering of far-right extremists. Hundreds of them, from across the country, marched to the University of Virginia’s campus with tiki torches aloft, chanting, “Jews will not replace us!” The next day, after an eruption of violent melees, a young neo-Nazi drove his car at full speed into a crowd of peaceful counterprotesters, maiming nearly two dozen and killing a 32-year-old woman named Heather Heyer.
The incident had an immediate impact on the public perception of terrorism – including, crucially, among law enforcement and elected officials. It had become clear that a terrorist could look like the White man next door. Robert Bowers’ alleged attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh a year later, which left 11 dead and six injured, only cemented that shift . …
Elusive Leader Of Dylann Roof-Worshipping Neo-Nazi Group Exposed
“Vic Mackey’s biggest contribution to the white power movement has been to normalize violence and glorify acts of terrorism.”
By Sebastian Murdock & Christopher Mathias
Huffington Post (7/23/20)
A prominent white supremacist who encourages acts of domestic terror and who once claimed to have influenced the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter is a 27-year-old restaurant worker in California, a new HuffPost investigation has confirmed.
For years, a man using the pseudonym “Vic Mackey” has been the leading voice in a confederation of neo-Nazis called the “Bowl Patrol,” a reference to white supremacist murderer Dylann Roof’s “bowl cut” hairstyle.
In podcasts, videos and social media posts reviewed by HuffPost, Mackey has called on his followers — including nearly 1,000 on Telegram — to commit hate crimes, threatened activists and journalists with rape and violence and celebrated white nationalist massacres — in Christchurch, New Zealand; El Paso, Texas; Poway, California, and elsewhere — all while keeping his real identity secret.
Though it’s hard to know the exact number of people Mackey has influenced, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League see him as a leader in this network of extremists, some of whom have been arrested in connection with threats or plans of real-world violence in Roof’s name.
Unmasking white nationalists
Even as so many other white nationalists have been unmasked in recent years — among them cops, soldiers and politicians — Mackey has remained elusive. But in recent weeks, the Anonymous Comrades Collective, a group of anti-fascist researchers, has traced Mackey’s online history and believes he is a man named Andrew Richard Casarez, a 27-year-old pizza delivery driver who lives in a Sacramento suburb.
HuffPost has also confirmed his identity via photos, videos and audio clips, and by speaking to people who have known Casarez over the years.
Casarez did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story.
His unmasking comes at a time when there has been a growing threat of violent right-wing extremism in the United States. …