Deadly attacks at places of worship in the United States have been on the rise. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
While US leaders, continue to focus on thwarting terrorism in other countries and the supposed threat of terrorism at our borders, experts say there is a more pressing threat of domestic terrorism in our own backyards. In fact, according to New Jersey’s Tom Malinowski, America’s greatest terrorist threat is White Supremacist.
Four of the most violent and deadly attacks carried out in the last seven years in this country were carried out by White Men, who belong to or follow the ideals of White Supremacy or Neo-Nazi groups, according to CNN. Groups that promote a pattern of deadly extremism and violent hatred of others based on skin color or religious preference.
After last month’s Poway synagogue shooting, the California governor has pledged 15 Million to aide places of worship in the state to obtain more stringent security measures.
Lawmakers in other states are also following suit by asking for federal funding to make places of worship safer, but more needs to be done with regards to the country’s attitude towards these hateful groups.
Experts warn that White Supremacy must be tackled as Terrorism and that even though most of these White Supremacy and Neo-Nazi groups meet the FBI’s standard definition of terrorism, they are not treated as such, simply because they are American and they are white. With the number and frequency of these attacks increasing, officials say White Supremacy must be called terrorism and tackled with the same vigor and seriousness as ISIS or al Qaeda.
“‘Radicalized White Men’ are the new normal,” and experts believe that the precursors to the murders by White Supremacy groups mirror those attacks orchestrated on foreign soil. These outlying communities of men thrive online in forums and chatrooms where they share hateful manifestos and plan out attacks on innocent people.
FBI Assistant Director Michael McGarrity testified to the House Committee on Homeland Security just last week that the bureau is doing its part to tackle the issue on a federal level. He also shared that the current administration has added domestic terrorism to its national security strategy, a first ever for the country.
“We’re highlighting that there is a domestic terrorism threat that is persistent,” McGarrity said. “We don’t differentiate between a domestic terrorism attack we’re trying to stop or an international terrorism attack. It’s a terrorism attack we’re looking to stop,” he said during his testimony.
But the unspoken truth is that there are still many white Americans that are not yet willing to acknowledge that terrorist can look like them too. Their inability to do so and so objectively is preventing the country from protecting all Americans, even themselves.