Warm Southern Breeze

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Terrorism Expert: “Domestic extremists have a sympathetic base.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 31, 2021

Two of Mr. Jenkins’ latest articles are:

Why We Need a January 6 Commission to Investigate the Attack on the Capitol
January 20, 2021
https://www.rand.org/blog/2021/01/why-we-need-a-january-6-commission-to-investigate-the.html

-and-

The Battle of Capitol Hill
January 11, 2021
https://www.rand.org/blog/2021/01/the-battle-of-capitol-hill.html

His most recent social media commentary is:

“The mob assault on the U.S. Capitol was predictable. Fortunately, democracy held. But security failed spectacularly.

“In short, the failure of planning is incomprehensible. We’re lucky this wasn’t a massacre. The intruders could’ve taken elected officials hostage; it was only in October that the FBI thwarted a plot by right-wing extremists to kidnap the governor of Michigan.

“January 6th is now a day to be remembered on the calendar of violent resistance to the federal government. Emerging from the deadly debacle are diehards whose fantasies of a stolen election are still being fueled.

“These extremists could now be emboldened by their successful confrontation last week. A continuing deep sense of injury coupled with an unrealistic assessment of their own power is always a bad combination.

“Defiance is not easily put back in the box. The siege may cause some previously inflammatory politicians to sober up. But to the rioters, any weak denunciations by such politicians may only feed their sense of betrayal and harden their resolve.

“Extremist activity during the inauguration or the SOTU address is possible in the near term. But I worry more about terrorist plots by right-wing extremists over the horizon.”


Domestic Violent Extremists Will Be Harder To Combat Than Homegrown Jihadists

Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Adviser to the RAND President, Michael D. Rich.

By Brian Michael Jenkins
01/31/21 05:00 PM EST

Brian Michael Jenkins is a Senior Adviser to the President of the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. He is a former Captain in the Green Berets, initiated RAND’s Terrorism Research program in 1972 and has been researching terrorism for RAND since. He is a Fulbright Fellow, University of San Carlos in Guatemala, has served in several administrations in various capacities related to security and terrorism, authored numerous books, articles, and reports published worldwide, and is a Vietnam Veteran.


The Biden administration has said it will take steps to combat domestic violent extremism. While the move comes close on the heels of the January 6 attack on the Capitol Building, the nation has witnessed recent acts of violence stemming from both far left and far right extremists.

The announced actions – conducting a comprehensive threat assessment, coordinating intelligence sharing, disrupting networks, trying to prevent radicalization – might have a familiar ring. They’re similar to the post-9/11 response to thwart terrorist attacks launched from abroad, and later, homegrown jihadists, which have been largely successful. While these are solid steps, for a variety of reasons shutting down domestic extremists will prove far more difficult than combating homegrown jihadists.

Larger constituencies.
Jihadist ideology, with few exceptions, gained very little traction in America’s Muslim communities. In contrast, the beliefs driving today’s domestic extremists are deeply rooted in American history and society. Precisely for that reason, some law enforcement officials argue against coming down too hard on those involved in the 1/6 assault, perhaps fearing that doing so might provoke the kind of bloody confrontations witnessed in the early 1990s.

The jihadists never had a supportive constituency in the U.S. They responded as individuals to exhortations from groups abroad. Indeed, many of the tips that led to arrests reportedly came from within the Muslim community. There were no continuing terrorist campaigns. Plots and attacks were one-offs. But domestic extremists have a sympathetic base.

Domestic extremists are better organized.
Hindered by FBI infiltration, far right extremists long ago adopted a strategy of “leaderless resistance,” avoiding a hierarchical structure and instead relying on local autonomous cells to carry out attacks on behalf of the cause. What is new about today’s domestic extremists is Read the rest of this entry »

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