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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Remember this?
Posted by Jill | 6:11 AM
Remember how all the Usual Suspects freaked out when in April 2009 the Department of Homeland security issued a report on the threat of right-wing extremism?
DHS/I&A assesses that a number of economic and political factors are
driving a resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization activity.
Despite similarities to the climate of the 1990s, the threat posed by lone wolves and small
terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years. In addition, the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes are proving to be a driving force for rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization.


Rightwing extremists are harnessing this historical election as a recruitment
tool. Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential
administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and
citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Rightwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment. From the 2008 election timeframe to the present, rightwing extremists have capitalized on related racial and political prejudices in expanded propaganda campaigns, thereby reaching out to a wider audience of potential sympathizers.


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. In two instances in the run-up to the election, extremists appeared to be in the early planning stages of some threatening activity targeting the Democratic nominee, but law enforcement interceded.

Of course now that has changed, with calls for vandalism of Democratic offices, death threats against Democratic legislators, open calls for killing those who disagree...

Perhaps the right wing freakout at the time was because those who were even then fanning the flames of violence knew it was spot-on accurate. It just took time for what the DHS reported a year ago to reach critical mass.

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