How the U.S. far-right threat has evolved since January 6 | Extreme-Right News

one year later Attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6A former US counter-terrorism official worried that lone wolf attacks from far-right extremists could pose a major security challenge in 2022, which echoes other analysts’ concerns about the changing nature of the threat.

700 people He is accused It is related to the congressional riots that killed 5 people in Washington, DC last year.Broken windows and chaotic virus images at the core of U.S. power force security services to take action More serious extreme right threatFormer U.S. State Department counter-terrorism officer Jason Blazakis said he now works for the Soufan Group, a research center in New York.

On January 6, 2021, when a group of supporters of the then U.S. President Donald Trump stormed into the U.S. Capitol in Washington, they broke into their broken window [File: Leah Millis/Reuters]

“This is a wake-up call,” Blazhakis told Al Jazeera Riot on January 6“[The far-right] It is a threat that is underestimated by security officials and policy makers, who sometimes deliberately try to ignore this issue for political reasons…Until now, the US government regards internal threats as a serious challenge. “

Analysts say that before the anniversary of January 6, U.S. far-right groups -Including anti-government militias, white supremacists and various conspiracy theorists-remains the biggest security threat.As these groups are subject to stricter scrutiny by law enforcement agencies and face crackdowns from some mainstream social media platforms, similar to Congressional Rebellion Blazakis said that this year is unlikely because the threat seems to be changing.

Instead, he worried about lone wolf attacks by individuals or small groups “as we saw in El Paso or Pittsburgh”, citing The 2019 Latino Massacre 11 people died at Walmart in Texas In the synagogue in 2018 A gunman who has expressed anti-Semitism views.

Blazakis estimates that there are thousands of people in the United States who support far-right ideology—and there is no simple policy solution to deal with this worldview with followers who believe in the use of violence.

‘Frustration and anger’

White supremacists, extremist militias, and other like-minded people participated in two-thirds of “terrorist attacks and conspiracies” on U.S. territory in 2020, According to research The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank in Washington was launched in April.

Members of the far-right group Proud Boys and anti-fascist protesters screamed at each other in a clash between political opposition groups in Portland, Oregon, U.S., in August [File: Alex Milan Tracy/AP]

This People arrested in the riots on January 6 Arie Perliger, a professor of criminology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, said that including real estate agents, business owners and town councillors does not necessarily pose the greatest security threat to today’s country.

Instead of Twitter trolls or Arguing street protesters, Perliger is more concerned with the loose network of militia groups or conspiracy theorists working underground. He told Al Jazeera: “Across the country, there are important groups, groups, and activists. They feel frustrated and angry. They represent a threat.” “If we are looking for the next attack, it will not necessarily happen in DC. It will be other vulnerable targets, such as Pittsburgh or El Paso.”

small group Extreme right extremists He said people who lack a formal command and control structure are more difficult to track by security forces — and they often operate outside large cities, where local authorities have few resources.

“Threats are more likely to come from more isolated groups and cells,” Pelliger said, citing a 2020 conspiracy planned by anti-government extremists Kidnap the Governor of Michigan“It is more difficult for them to identify and thwart their plans.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment.

Security services are infiltrated

The fact that complicates efforts to respond to domestic extremist threats is that some members of the security services have already Extreme right sympathy. American active-duty military and reserve personnel have participated in more and more “domestic terrorist conspiracies and attacks.” According to CSIS researchAccording to CSIS, the incidence of attacks on the U.S. mainland related to active and reserve personnel rose to 6.4% in 2020, which was higher than 1.5% in 2019 and zero in 2018.

According to a report, at least 13% of those charged in the January 6 rebellion were connected to the military or law enforcement. National Public Broadcasting Database.

On January 6th in Washington, DC, members of the far-right Proud Boys group gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol to protest the certification for the 2020 U.S. presidential election [File: Jim Urquhart/Reuters]

“Military and police penetration [by the far-right] It’s a big deal.Look at the number of soldiers [arrested] January 6, “Michael Hayden, who tracks hate groups Southern Poverty Law Center, Told Al Jazeera. “In terms of the degree of this radicalization, the military and police are far behind.”

He said that the gains of the Capitol Rebellion are routine Republicans and far-right ideas: “The soft barriers that prevented the extreme fringe and extreme right wing really collapsed on January 6.”

This trend does not bode well American stability Or try to find a compromise between political factions.

A member of the Political Instability Working Group of the CIA’s advisory group to analyze the risks of civil unrest in the world warned that the United States is “closer to a civil war than any of us would like to believe.” Barbara F. Walter’s forthcoming book, How the Civil War started, Pointed out that the United States has entered a “very dangerous field.”

Perigueux agreed. “If we talk about 2022, based on the data we have, we should see a high level of violence,” he said. “I don’t see any reason now that the trend will reverse or change: 2022 is an election year, which usually tends to exacerbate speech and polarization.”

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