In yet another story purporting to confirm the left’s view of the world, Jana Winter reported in Yahoo News Friday that “the U.S. government is acknowledging for the first time that right-wing extremists were responsible for the majority of fatal domestic terrorist attacks last year, according to an internal report circulated by the Department of Homeland Security last week.” But as you might expect, it’s long on vague assertions and decidedly short on facts.
The report was produced by the Joint Regional Intelligence Center, which Winter describes as “a DHS-funded fusion center,” and was sent out to police nationwide. It claims that civil unrest and violence last year were primarily associated with “non-affiliated, right-wing and left-wing actors,” and that “right-wing [domestic violent extremists] were responsible for the majority of fatal attacks in the Homeland in 2020.”
That wretchedly written statement apparently says that most fatal attacks in the U.S. were perpetrated by both “right-wing and left-wing actors,” and yet “journalist” Winter and the “experts” she quotes all concentrate exclusively on the “right-wing extremism.” And to be sure, the report itself appears to be designed to give the impression that “right-wing extremism” is a genuine and major threat, while quietly admitting that there is a bit of violence on the left.
The Yahoo News report asserts that “this appears to be the first known instance of an official government or law enforcement agency clearly acknowledging the trend, though senior officials have noted the rise in white supremacist attacks.” It isn’t really all that new, however: FBI director Christopher Wray claimed back in September 2017 that “white nationalist” violence was at least as much of a danger to the United States as the Islamic State. But now this claim is being codified as policy. Seth Jones of the Center for Strategic and International Studies states of the new report: “What is a little unusual is that they’ve used terms like ‘right- and left-wing’ in a government document, because the government has generally used other terms. The government in 2020 did try to stay away from ‘right-wing’ terms because they were easily politicized.”
No kidding. And you’ll never guess who is responsible for the fact that this alarming surge in “right-wing” terrorism hasn’t been noted until now: “The report also comes not long after the end of the Trump administration, which was criticized for downplaying right-wing violence. Former President Donald Trump, in particular, frequently referred to the threat from antifa, a loose movement of left-wing activists.” Yes, and we all know how peaceful and cuddly Antifa is.
Making it very clear what the point of this report is, Mike German, whom Yahoo News identifies as a “former FBI agent and now a fellow at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice,” explains: “There is a lot of overlap between white supremacists and far-right militias, and they often work together during the commission of violent acts, like at the attack on the Capitol.”
However, before you sign on to the idea that support for Donald Trump equals support for “insurrection” and the enabling of terrorism, note that, as Yahoo News points out, “the government has released no data on historical activity or the current threat landscape.” Apparently we’re just supposed to take their word for it.
Also conspicuously lacking in this report were definitions of the key terms. What does the government define as “right-wing”? What do they classify as “left-wing”? What do they define as a “terrorist attack”? The Joint Regional Intelligence Center report defines “terrorist incidents” as “violence motivated by political or religious conviction,” but offers no definitions of the other terms.
It does, however, attempt to excuse “left-wing” violence, claiming that that there was a “rarity of left-wing extremist attacks,” and that “increased response to right-wing activity motivated more left-wing violence in 2020 than in previous years.” Do the Antifa and Black Lives Matter riots all over the country last summer get counted as terrorist attacks?
Given the irresponsible but no doubt calculated lack of definitions, this Joint Regional Intelligence Center report, and the Yahoo News story about it, appears to be one more attempt to portray peaceful, law-abiding Americans who supported President Trump and dissent from the leftist agenda as terrorists and as enablers of terrorism. One certainty of the regime of Biden’s handlers is that there will be a great deal more of this.
Meanwhile, while our agencies purvey this propaganda, the global jihad proceeds apace.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.