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Thread: DHS Report: Rightwing Extremism

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    Council Member franksforum's Avatar
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    Default DHS Report: Rightwing Extremism

    (U) Key Findings:

    (U//LES) The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific
    information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.

    (U) Disgruntled Military Veterans:

    (U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

    — (U) After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.

    — (U) A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”

    — (U//LES) The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups.

    Full text of report in PDF format available at:

    http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/rightwing.pdf

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    franksforum,thanks for posting this. I heard about it yesterday from a friend but he could not provide a link.

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    Default Hmm ....

    Seems that Fluffy is out of her bag - NRA and 2nd Amendment folks perk up your ears.

    Googling - "rightwing extremism" dhs - or - "right wing extremism" dhs - gets over 20K hits for the first and over 40K for the second.

    Here is an analysis by Andrew Napolitano.

    DHS has also released a report on Leftwing Extremists.

    Leftwing extremists, being sophisticates, launch attacks via cyberspace. Rightwing extremists, being primitives, launch attacks via firearms and explosive devices. An interesting mindset at DHS. I wonder who the new John Yoo is ?

    From the American Legion, a rather mild rejoinder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99
    ....Leftwing extremists, being sophisticates, launch attacks via cyberspace. Rightwing extremists, being primitives, launch attacks via firearms and explosive devices. An interesting mindset at DHS.....
    That's certainly putting a spin on it. I've never been exactly overwhelmed by the analytic talent at DHS, and the linked report certain follows a too-generic flawed assessment format, but it still clearly states up-front that it is clearly focused on the potential cyber threat, period. It is not a broad assessment of capabilities of the left-wing groups, nor does state that cyber attacks is their primary capability or preferred tactic. It does mention that the groups in question - animal rights, environmental, and anarchist extremist movements - are known to conduct bombing and arson attacks. DHS, the Bureau and other fed agencies have published quite a number of assessments over the past couple of years looking at the more violent aspects of these groups, so I would hardly say that there is an organizational bias one way or the other.

    However, it is clear that none of that matters, and what is leaked to the publicly is simply meant to be twisted into yet more juvenile partisan bickering.

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    Default Yup, "bombings and arson" are mentioned ...

    once, at p.3. The rest folows the lead "Leftwing Extremists Likely to Increase Use of Cyber Attacks over the Coming Decade."

    And, yes, I am aware of ELF et al's other activities - since we just had one sentenced in Fed DC in Marquette 3 weeks ago - and of the 7 May 2008 DHS report cited by Bourbon just below my post.

    That report sums their violent incidents from 1984-2008 (table - pp.15-23); and amply supports concern.

    The Rightwing Extremist lead "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" is supported by these items in this century (from report):

    p.3
    The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues.

    (U//LES) Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts.

    p.4
    (U) A recent example of the potential violence associated with a rise in rightwing extremism may be found in the shooting deaths of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 4 April 2009. The alleged gunman’s reaction reportedly was influenced by his racist ideology and belief in antigovernment conspiracy theories related to gun confiscations, citizen detention camps, and a Jewish-controlled “one world government.”

    p.5
    Most statements by rightwing extremists have been rhetorical, expressing concerns about the election of the first African American president, but stopping short of calls for violent action.

    p.6
    In April 2007, six militia members were arrested for various weapons and explosives violations. Open source reporting alleged that those arrested had discussed and conducted surveillance for a machinegun attack on Hispanics.

    — (U) A militia member in Wyoming was arrested in February 2007 after communicating his plans to travel to the Mexican border to kill immigrants crossing into the United States.

    p.8
    A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”

    The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups.
    The report also notes one post-1995 event:

    p.6
    Law enforcement in 1996 arrested three rightwing militia members in Battle Creek, Michigan with pipe bombs, automatic weapons, and military ordnance that they planned to use in attacks on nearby military and federal facilities and infrastructure targets.
    To me, this seems very slim evidence on which to posit a resurgence.

    To these, the report adds another factor - firearms:

    p.3
    (U//FOUO) The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.

    (U//FOUO) Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government. The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by rightwing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement.

    pp.4-5
    (U) Legislative and Judicial Drivers

    (U//FOUO) Many rightwing extremist groups perceive recent gun control legislation as a threat to their right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises. Such activity, combined with a heightened level of extremist paranoia, has the potential to facilitate criminal activity and violence.

    — (U//FOUO) During the 1990s, rightwing extremist hostility toward government was fueled by the implementation of restrictive gun laws—such as the Brady Law that established a 5-day waiting period prior to purchasing a handgun and the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that limited the sale of various types of assault rifles—and federal law enforcement’s handling of the confrontations at Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

    — (U//FOUO) On the current front, legislation has been proposed this year requiring mandatory registration of all firearms in the United States. Similar legislation was introduced in 2008 in several states proposing mandatory tagging and registration of ammunition. It is unclear if either bill will be passed into law; nonetheless, a correlation may exist between the potential passage of gun control legislation and increased hoarding of ammunition, weapons stockpiling, and paramilitary training activities among rightwing extremists.

    (U//FOUO) Open source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred rightwing extremists—as well as law-abiding Americans—to make bulk purchases of ammunition. These shortages have increased the cost of ammunition, further exacerbating rightwing extremist paranoia and leading to further stockpiling activity.

    Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move at this time.

    (U//FOUO) Weapons rights and gun-control legislation are likely to be hotly contested subjects of political debate in light of the 2008 Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller in which the Court reaffirmed an individual’s right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but left open to debate the precise contours of that right. Because debates over constitutional rights are intense, and parties on all sides have deeply held, sincere, but vastly divergent beliefs, violent extremists may attempt to co-opt the debate and use the controversy as a radicalization tool.
    When the yellow bird sings in the coal mine, I listen up.

    BTW: My words quoted in your post were frankly intended to be sarcastic. You, as a reader, have the right to your perception (and expression of that perception) that it is "spin"; or that it is a form of "juvenile partisan bickering"; or whatever.

    The same goes for your perception that DHS has been balanced in its reporting. The readers can access the 2008 & 2009 DHS "leftwing" reports and can judge whether the evidence in those reports supports the DHS conclusions. They also can judge whether the evidence in the 2009 DHS "rightwing" report supports the DHS conclusions there.

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    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    To these, the report adds another factor - firearms:
    What do you take issue with about that?

    I don't think it is out of line, or inaccurate to surmise that increased restrictions on firearms will radicalize a small number of people. It was certainly a trigger for Tim McVeigh. Not sure why that's controversial, and I think you could even be pro-gun acknowledge this.

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    Going to be interesting to see the "spin"on this one...

    Was the material "leaked" because somebody realized the incendiary nature of the material (best way to kill off bad concepts is to put it out where everybody can see it), or was it more of a "trial balloon", where the folks just didn't understand exactly how politically deadly this stuff can be.

    Poor Janet Napolitano - what a "tin ear". She's going to take a real political beat down over this one from just about everybody, and to be honest about it, probably not deserved, but she's in charge, so she gets to take one for the team. But she's got to be real careful here, and the spin she puts out will count - she gets it wrong, and makes it worse (and it can get worse), they'll be looking for a new head of DHS.

    But there's some staff people she's got who seriously need to be reassigned for an extended period to counting and doing full body inspections of various types of vermin at some far off backwater. If you are in her position, these folks may or may not be her ideological soulmates, but doesn't matter - they have got to go.

    Old rule in politics - "It's never your enemies you have to worry about - you know what they'll do to you. It's your friends and allies that you have got to worry about".

    Another excellent example right here.

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    The timing of my firearms purchases has largely coincided with proposed legislation to make those purchases more difficult or illegal. But the rationale in my mind has often been, "well, if I'm gonna buy this thing, I'd better buy it now, before it gets more difficult or gets illegal." I know lots of Soldiers who bought firearms soon after deployments because that was when they had the most money saved up. I know others who bought them after ETS because they no longer got to shoot at work, so they bought their own.

    As for radicalizing, I don't get the connection. You either hold radical views or get persuaded into them. I don't see how that comes about by imposing background checks or a 3-day wait period or a ban on rifles with bayonet lugs.

    That this was deliberate seems pretty obvious. You can't leak a memo bashing the right wing because it will be recognized as not a leak. So you leak two memos - one bashing each side - but not one that upsets your natural allies. And if there's a bit of a backlash, so what? You've now got official-looking documents in circulation that give estimates perceived as credible that anyone opposing gun control legislation may turn into Tim McVeigh. I already foresee the news coverage... "but getting beyond the leaks and controversy, these are very disturbing intelligence assessments about possible radicalization of gun rights proponents..." Mission accomplished. Now the gun control proponents are the voice of reason, passing legislation despite the "dangers" of the radical kooks who oppose them. We need to get these people into Iraq and Afghanistan to work beside our IO folks.

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    Council Member ODB's Avatar
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    not to post. Been thinking about this off and on most of the day. Honestly I just find them both just flat out laughable. My only point of contention is with the Veterans.

    1. Yes, common sense tells me anyone looking for military type training/capabilities are going to try to recruit Veterans.

    2. Would this not be on all sides of the coin? Wouldn't any group wanting to conduct violient acts want their knowledge?

    My issue is in effect that just about any DHS/I&O report would have this in it, yet it does not, why? Why were the Veterans only lumped into recruiting targets for Right Wing Extremists?

    Overall, can we please stop grouping people, why must everyone be labeled, be fit into some neat little category, and if they don't we create one.

    Lastly, the damage control in the media has been comical, heard today that these reports were actually done under the previous administration. So, explain the blurb about the Pittsburgh incident that took place 11 days ago.
    ODB

    Exchange with an Iraqi soldier during FID:

    Why did you not clear your corner?

    Because we are on a base and it is secure.

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    Default Whatever his triggers ...

    from Bourbon
    It was certainly a trigger for Tim McVeigh.
    love of the 2nd Amendment was not one of them.

    Amen, Schmedlap.

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    Default Rightwing extremism & the Limbic Brain

    The subject of rightwing extremism is today's hot topic across the cable spectrum - secession seems another. So, I was treated to one of the nuttier interviews I've seen in a long time - so nutty that I had to look for the video and the transcript to make sure that I got it right.

    So, we have Countdown, Keith Olbermann and Janeane Garofalo:

    OLBERMANN: ... On a more serious note, we're now joined by actor, activist Janeane Garofalo. Good to see you.

    JANEANE GAROFALO: ... And you know, you can tell these type of right wingers anything and they'll believe it, except the truth. You tell them the truth and they become -- it's like showing Frankenstein's monster fire. They become confused, and angry and highly volatile. That guy, causing them feelings they don't know, because their limbic brain, we've discussed this before, the limbic brain inside a right-winger or Republican or conservative or your average white power activist, the limbic brain is much larger in their head space than in a reasonable person, and it's pushing against the frontal lobe. So their synapses are misfiring.
    Now this got me thinking about the glories of eugenics, applied phrenology - and the picture of mobile DHS vans with MRIs and CATs to detect and register all those with enlarged limbic brains.

    Much more in the interview.

    --------------------------
    A brief tour of the limbic brain is here. The controversy about its functions are here and here.

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    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    You have got to love it when pseudointellectuals try to spout science that they don't really understand and it's even better when they try to throw a cheesy partisan spin on it.

    SFC W

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    Default Yup, the spin is on-going ....

    at both ends of the spectrum, as Ted (Jedburgh) and Watcher predicted a few posts ago.

    Since I don't think JG is a "clear and present danger", or that she will be running DHS any time soon, I wasn't specially concerned with her scientific analysis. But, I thought it illustrated two larger problems.

    One is broad-brushing - tossing your perceived opponents into one disparaged basket. E.g., all Sunnis (or all Shia) are bad folks because ____________. From thence, sectarian violence becomes justified.

    The other is that broad-brushing becomes even more effective when it can be supported by science (or theology). So, eugenics and phrenology became accepted by many in the US as tools to shape society, etc. - which illustrate that even a center-oriented nation can go off half-cocked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    The subject of rightwing extremism is today's hot topic across the cable spectrum - secession seems another. So, I was treated to one of the nuttier interviews I've seen in a long time - so nutty that I had to look for the video and the transcript to make sure that I got it right.

    So, we have Countdown, Keith Olbermann and Janeane Garofalo:
    The first few times that I saw the spectacle that is Keith Olbermann, I thought that I was watching an MSNBC version of the Colbert Report. The guy is so far over the top that he is a caricature of himself. Sometimes I wonder if he is just going to eventually yell into the TV camera, "you idiots! You took me seriously all these years? Are you that crazy?" He holds forth with prose that is so exacting and deliberate in its grammar and rhetoric, delivered with such a serious demeanor and such flawless diction, that I often think he's simply trying too hard to carry on with a farce. Underneath the grammar, the stern face and square head, the prose - what he's actually saying is utterly foolish; sometimes fantasy, sometimes conspiracy, almost always inflammatory garbage. He can't possibly be serious unless he is insane. Given the effort that goes into the delivery of what is essentially nonsense, I have to believe that he is an actor who is never out of character.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    OLBERMANN: ... On a more serious note, we're now joined by actor, activist Janeane Garofalo.
    Classic.

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    Default Glad you liked it ...

    When Olbermann started out, he was from a sports background. He managed to have at least one sports segment and a funny animal story (one of my weaknesses, together with Meg Ryan comedies). The rest of the stories were pretty much centric (well, center-left and more akin to the old NBC).

    That was then; this is now.

    Impelled I suppose by the ratings quest, KO strove to become a re-incarnated Ed Morrow. And, of course, the on-going feud with BillO, who sometimes manages to impersonate a more moderate form of Father Coughlin.

    Hey, the FNC-MSNBC lineups from 7-10 (Shep Smith excepted) is better than WWE. I love being infuriated - good for circulation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    That this was deliberate seems pretty obvious. You can't leak a memo bashing the right wing because it will be recognized as not a leak. So you leak two memos - one bashing each side - but not one that upsets your natural allies. And if there's a bit of a backlash, so what? You've now got official-looking documents in circulation that give estimates perceived as credible that anyone opposing gun control legislation may turn into Tim McVeigh. I already foresee the news coverage... "but getting beyond the leaks and controversy, these are very disturbing intelligence assessments about possible radicalization of gun rights proponents..." Mission accomplished. Now the gun control proponents are the voice of reason, passing legislation despite the "dangers" of the radical kooks who oppose them. We need to get these people into Iraq and Afghanistan to work beside our IO folks.
    Pretty much what I was thinking; and it came out the day of those tea parties, right? Interesting timing there...maybe to remind everyone that saw the tea parties on TV "these are the people in the DHS report we (FEDs) were talking about". I really hope not. I would hate for this to have been a political stunt.

    I sometimes fear that partisanship will destroy this country.
    Sir, what the hell are we doing?

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    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    The Militia movement that emerged in the 1990’s was decentralized, diverse, and for the most part localized. While it would be wrong to use broad brush strokes in describing it, two key central themes emerge: 1.) a visceral opposition to gun control, and 2.) a deep seated mistrust of the Federal government which is viewed as invasive and attacking personal liberties and freedoms.

    This movement’s emergence cannot be described without acknowledging three specific events: Ruby Ridge in 1992, Waco 1993, and the signing of The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act later in 1993 followed by provisions in the Violent Crime Control Act of 1994. This gun control legislation was a significant departure from traditional gun rights and ownership practices, which exacerbated fears of a threatening Federal government.

    Further, in the tragic events of Waco and Ruby Ridge the issue of gun rights and ownership were absolutely central. I believe the government’s actions preceding and following the Ruby and Waco cases, in addition to behavior on the Left and the Right; fed a reinforcing feedback loop of paranoia between the Government, media, the “Far Right-Wing”, and the rest of the country. Tim McVeigh incidentally was never found to be a member of a militia organization; however, it is clear this culture of paranoia and fear was significant in his radicalization.

    I do not foresee future Presidential administrations, Republican or Democrat, abandoning the increased powers accumulated under the previous administrations eight years in office. It is possible with the Democrats in power that we will some new gun control legislation; though I think some Dems have realized that gun control is a political loser. I believe the forces may be brewing for something similar to what I described above; and as I said before, I do not think it is inaccurate or out of line to surmise that a small number of micro-actors will radicalize in this climate. This is an issue that deserves our attention; and should not be sensationalized ala Garofalo, or dismissed out of hand.

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    Default Change the direction given?

    Law enforcement intelligence for a variety of reasons will report on the threat from the extremes; which may include single issue groups which are neither 'right' or 'left'.

    Who set the requirements for the DHS report, research and more? If those requirements were changed - when aware of the political arena - such reports would disappear.

    What intent and capability do these groups have?

    The extreme 'left' and 'right' are reported upon as they are traditional LE targets and traditionally vulnerable to infiltration and informants. The newer groups, like Climate Change are not so easy. Particularly as public opinion shifts around on the issue(s) and what level of activity is seen as legitimate.

    Finally I've not read the DHS reports themselves, just some of the reporting and a document on Virginia's threat assessment, which appeared on another website.

    davidbfpo

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    Default Draw your own conclusion as to the danger ....

    The Michigan Militia of Norman Olson, wiki here and 1998 archived website here, was more a figment of Mr Olson's imagination than anything real. As posted above, there was a 1996 arrest of some Battle Creek militia who were playing with things they weren't supposed to have - that was the last Michigan incident I know of.

    The present Michigan Militia (several small groups) has a harmless rhetoric - and expresses a view on the DHS report that can be found here.

    Perhaps, the Militia Babes are more of a threat - you may judge.

    While I'll stick with the half-dozen local gun clubs (e.g., Ottawa - decent ranges), I'll also not lose any sleep over the present Michigan Militia.

    Websites like Stormfront are another kettle of fish. While a lot said there is rhetoric, the sheer volume of posts suggests that there may be some who walk that walk beyond the talk.

    Stormfront activists are not primarily motivated by 1.) a visceral opposition to gun control, and 2.) a deep seated mistrust of the Federal government which is viewed as invasive and attacking personal liberties and freedoms.

    Many, very law abiding citizens, who happen to own guns, are influenced by those two considerations; but not by Stormfront.

    Old lawyer proverb runs: If the law is on your side, argue the law. If the facts are on your side, argue the facts. If neither is on your side, call your opponent a schmuck. In this case, seems that some in DHS would like to substitute "fascist" for "schmuck".

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    Ruby Ridge, Tim McVeigh, Gordon Kahl and the Posse Commatatus, all of these events did not inspire much collective action on the part of adherents to said philosophies and politics. Guns and taxes are fertile ground for strong rhetoric but in good times, they lose their punch as motivators. The ideology of some of the Leftist groups, i.e. ELF, seems more enduring and consistent as a motivator. There have been gun-grab scenarios floating around for as long as I can remember with no real mob action.

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