The rise of violence by neo-Nazi and white supremacists in the US is now as significant a threat to the country as foreign terrorist organizations such as Daesh (ISIL), according to the FBI.
The threat of anti-government and far-right groups has risen to a “national threat priority” for 2020, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives.
Racially and ethnically motivated extremists pose a “steady threat of violence and economic harm” to the US, Wray said.
The FBI director said his agency is “most concerned about lone offender attacks” which have “served as the dominant lethal mode” for domestic terror incidents.
In 2019, the FBI made 107 domestic terrorism arrests, on pace with the number of arrests it made for international terrorism.
In the same year, the FBI announced the launch of a Domestic Terrorism-Hate Crimes Fusion Cell, which allows the organization to allocate as much resources to combat domestic terrorism as it does to combat other terror-linked groups.
The US Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the FBI, recently recognized white nationalism as a significant domestic threat.
On Saturday, more than 100 members of a white nationalist group held a rally in Washington.
Members of the Patriot Front, dressed in khaki pants and caps, blue jackets and white face masks, shouted “Reclaim America!” and “Life, liberty, victory!” video of the march showed.
In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Donald Trump said the US will continue to fight against what he called “radical Islamic terrorism” but did not mention the terror threat fueled by white nationalist and other domestic terror groups.
Since his election, polling has shown Americans wary of Trump when it comes to race. A Pew Research Center poll last year showed 56% of Americans believe Trump has made race relations worse.
Americans gave similarly poor assessments of the president’s impact on specific racial, ethnic and religious minorities. Nearly 6 in 10 considered Trump’s actions to be bad for Hispanics and Muslims, and about half said they were bad for African Americans, according to a February 2018 poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Source: Press TV