Right-Wing Extremist Violence Possible as Left Gets Its Way, Napolitano's Homeland Security Warns
A new report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warns of a "resurgence" in violent right-wing extremism, driven by economic and political factors such the election of President Obama.
The hardscrabble economy, the return from war zones of "disgruntled" veterans, illegal immigration and the possibility of gun control all provide fodder for right-wing nuts who may join militias or act as "lone wolf" assailants, the report warns.
The report worries that religious and political zealots will be on the warpath now that liberals are in power. It specifically mentions threats against Obama:
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
The report talks a lot about weapons -- namely, some of the plans Democrats have to restrict them and the purchase of weapons by people who are scared the Democrats will restrict them. As ammo grows scarcer because of the purchases of "law-abiding citizens," the report says the loonies are getting even more agitated:
Open source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred
rightwing extremists--as well as law-abiding Americans--to make bulk purchases of
ammunition. These shortages have increased the cost of ammunition, further
exacerbating rightwing extremist paranoia and leading to further stockpiling activity.
Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates
attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move
at this time.
Homeland Security points to the example of a recent shooting in Pittsburgh that left three police officers dead. The gunman was rabidly anti-Obama, news reports suggest, and had built up quite an arsenal in recent months. However, the guy was actually just mad at his mother when he opened fire.
The government "will be working with its state and local partners over the next
several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in rightwing
extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political,
economic, and social factors that drive rightwing extremist radicalization," the report states.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.