The Department of Homeland Security’s Nine Page Intelligence Assessment on Right Wing Extremism


The Department of Homeland Security intelligence assessment on right wing extremism (April 2009) was vociferously panned by Shout Radio and Fox News conservatives. But the report now seems rather prescient in the light of two violent far-right incidents in the past two weeks (the murder of an abortion doctor in a church, and the murder of a black security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Museum).

The Homeland Security intelligence assessment is on-line here. The document is actually not that long (just nine pages), and is worth reading. I found, for example, this paragraph rather disconcerting:  

[T]he advent of the Internet and other information age 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.

That part about there being information on the Internet that tells people how to target individuals (presumably for murder or assassination) is especially upsetting. Let’s hope, for the sake of our nation, that President Obama survives the day-in day-out hostility continually being ginned-up towards him by Shout Radio, Fox News, and the extremist Internet sites. I assume that there are more than a few Dostoevskian “underground men” or “lone wolves” out there who fantasize about themselves entering the history books as the white supremacist “patriot hero” who “took out” America’s first black and “Muslim” president. 


About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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