Countering Domestic White Supremacy Threat

A grey car drives into a crowd of protesters carrying colorful signs, sending two men airborne while onlookers rush to the sceneThe Program on Extremism at George Washington University and the Center on Extremism at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) published a new report, White Supremacist Terror: Modernizing Our Approach to Today’s Threat, highlighting the persistent threat of white supremacy movements in the United States. In particular, it addresses the challenges in adapting to “a changing domestic terrorism landscape” on both prosecutorial, as well as law enforcement levels. As such, the authors provide a set of policy recommendations aimed to facilitate disruption and counter-efforts against racially motivated violent extremism.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence, “[t]here has been a concerning rise in attacks by individuals motivated by a variety of domestic terrorism ideologies.” Similarly, the FBI and Department of Justice stated their concern over the national threat emanating from homegrown violent extremism. To substantiate these concerns, on March 24, 2020, the FBI foiled a plot to bomb a Missouri hospital treating coronavirus patients by an individual motivated by “racial, religious and anti-government animus.”

To address gaps in countering violent white supremacy groups in the United States, the authors propose the following recommendations:

  1. Determine eligibility for designation of foreign white supremacist groups as foreign terrorist organizations (FTO’s);
  2. Consider a new domestic terrorism statute covering a set of predicate offenses;
  3. Enhance information sharing efforts across government agencies and communities;
  4. Require additional data from law enforcement agencies on the severity of this threat;
  5. Allocate appropriate resources to counter and prosecute acts of domestic terrorism;
  6. Examine the radicalization patterns to prevent the next generation of threats; and
  7. Encourage community education and norms-setting to minimize the spread of extreme views.

For more information on the topics addressed, visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Domestic (U.S.) TerrorismSuicide Bombers, and Lone Wolf Terrorism. Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

Need help finding something?  Ask one of our librarians for assistance!