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  • New dangers from domestic terrorism

    by Sunny
    17th April, 2010 at 9:50 am    

    Demos think-tank has published a paper titled: ‘a radical approach to extremism‘. I haven’t had a look but it could be interesting. Anyone else read it?

    And then there’s this big news

    Fifteen years after the Oklahoma City bombing, the spectre of domestic terrorism has returned to haunt the Obama Administration, with a warning from the FBI that “home-grown and lone-wolf extremists” now represent as serious a threat as al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

    The warning, from the FBI Director, Robert Mueller, came as the former President Clinton drew parallels between the Oklahoma City tragedy and a recent upsurge in anti-government rhetoric, while American television audiences heard Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, describe the “absolute rage” that drove him to plan an attack that killed 168 men, women and children.

    When the head of the FBI says that - it’s time to start listening. Rumbold has highlighted some British cases as well recently. But this seems to be a far, far bigger issue in the United States. Although I don’t suppose many neo-cons, with their Muslim obsession, will listen. When the SPLC published a report saying this a few months ago there, conservatives played it down. No doubt they’ll do the same again now.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Terrorism

    18 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. pickles

      Blog post:: New dangers from domestic terrorism

    2. Un:dhimmi

      RT @Jihadaddy re New dangers from domestic terrorism - looks like deflection activity by Mr. Hundal to this 'neocon' ;)

    3. Police State UK

      Report on extremism looks worth reading. RT @pickledpolitics: New dangers from domestic #terrorism

    1. Rumbold — on 17th April, 2010 at 10:21 am  

      I think people aren’t going to realise the reality until white supremacists successfully blow something up.

    2. Lucy — on 17th April, 2010 at 10:40 am  

      What sounded plausible at the time: - that the al-Awlaki decision possibly had as much to do with concerns about domestic discontent and anger as it did about anything else.

      Skimmed, not read: Has anybody looked at/ thought about Naomi Wolf’s views on tea parties (not all tea parties - the kind she is on about)?

    3. FlyingRodent — on 17th April, 2010 at 10:58 am  

      Right wing terrorism in the US is a fact of life, and it’d be a good idea for the authorities to respond in a calm and measured fashion. If everybody craps their pants in terror and starts warbling about OMG the teabagger terrorisses will kill us all and think of the children, you wind up with hideous clusterfucks like Waco or the invasion of Iraq.

      If there’s one thing the last decade shows, it’s that states’ responses to terrorism can be appallingly destructive, counterproductive and insane if the lunatics take over the asylum. I’d strongly advise that people treat the threat from belligerent wingnuts in much the same way they would that from Islamist nutters or Irish terrorist groups, i.e. vigilance, intelligence and research, good policing and targeted arrests… Keep calm and carry on, basically.

    4. BenSix — on 17th April, 2010 at 12:16 pm  

      When the head of the FBI says that – it’s time to start listening.

      Also in the news…

      The man falsely accused by the FBI of sending letters laced with deadly anthrax spores has received a big settlement from the government, but never an apology for destroying his life.

      Robert Mueller might be correct, but I’m not taking it as an article of faith.

    5. ldw — on 17th April, 2010 at 9:57 pm  

      actually, it’s a little worse than what your post states. in oklahoma, the very place that witnessed that bombing back in 1995, members of their state legislature recently met with various tea party leaders to discuss the possibility of setting up a new kind of “volunteer” militia that would defend the “sovereignty” of the state of oklahoma against the pernicious meddling of the federal government. imagine that: groups of armed men patrolling the streets on the lookout for suspicious behavior by the members of the federal government, their adherents, or anyone else they suspect.

      here’s the story from AP:

      right wing populism in the states, while usually content with manifesting itself as a kind of simple resentment shading off into thugishness, can and often has burst out into something much more deadly.

    6. Naadir Jeewa — on 17th April, 2010 at 10:07 pm  

      I’ll read it after exams, though having a flick through I feel vindicated in that they basically say the “sociology of social movements” approach is the right way to be doing things.

    7. douglas clark — on 18th April, 2010 at 12:27 am  

      ldw @ 5,

      One has got to ask, where is America heading?

      We see Obama pledging to a mission to Mars, and we see backwoodsmen attempting to see the Counties - for that is what they are - as superior. What with their bleatings about climate science, Darwin and their own general festivals of ignorance. And self importance.

      I don’t see the USA being here in a hundred years, what with the internal tensions being expressed in these increasingly rabid ways.

      There is less and less common space in US debate. There is only conflict.

      Talk me down….

    8. FlyingRodent — on 18th April, 2010 at 2:30 am  

      One has got to ask, where is America heading?

      Probably nowhere it wasn’t already heading in 1991 or 1891, for that matter. It’s a gigantic landmass with a population the same size as Europe and a history of insane, radical politics. Whatever happens, it won’t be Dawn of the Dead.

    9. Naadir Jeewa — on 18th April, 2010 at 1:01 pm  


      The Monkey Cage linked to a new article which has a few interesting comments on the tea parties:

      We are thus driven to conclude that the sometimes wild assertions and arguments advanced by Tea Partiers largely reflect the poverty of economic and political analysis in the establishment media. Indeed, the U.S. case bears an unsettling similarity to the situation in many parts of the parts of the Middle East. Political establishments and governments refuse to countenance critical discussion of social and economic problems. They marginalize alternative views, while beating the drums unceasingly for orthodoxy. When a crisis hits, however, no one believes them. So disaffected citizens set to work with the only tools they have - bits and snatches of traditional economic and political thinking - to analyze their predicament on their own. . . .

    10. KJB — on 18th April, 2010 at 2:47 pm  

      Naadir: Ha! I feel childishly (patriotically) vindicated now, because our media is pretty much like that and people always go on about how the American media are so much better. :-D

      The problem with domestic terrorism is that it can’t be simply and handily hooked on to other issues such as immigration and national identity by the media, so they play it down. Ironic that the idea of ‘the enemy within’ was really strengthened by the McCarthy era, and yet just now when it should be used against domestic terrorists, people are just looking the other way… As Idw says, I guess it’s the usual thing of the Tea Partiers shouting the loudest and thereby bringing everything down to their level (with the loving support of Fox News, of course).

    11. ldw — on 18th April, 2010 at 7:11 pm  

      yeah, dawn of the dead. that’s why i stay away from shopping malls.

      but, where is america headed? it’s not the 1930s anymore or even the 1990s. and in the absence of a real left, that’s anybody’s guess. although the widespread depoliticization and regressive behavior in a time of increasing economic downturn could make for a real nasty brew. frankly, i agree with a remark made by the blogger social republican that what is needed is a better taxonomy and analysis for groups like the tea party and the edl. it’s also important to remember that neither of those two groups are structured like a real political party (yet), but seem to be loosely networked, lack an infrastructure and internal cohesiveness, and have no believable or even very articulate spokesperson. nor is there, as of yet, a pronounced rhetoric of “regeneration” or a “lost” national glory that can only be reclaimed through some mythical act of violence, although from what i’ve read of the edl, they seem a little closer to that than the tea party. again, that’s not to say they, or some other group who identifies with them, couldn’t do some damage.

      so where is america headed? and what would it take to move the country out of its present malaise and into an actual left wing direction? i think the answer to that will rest very much on a massive organizing effort in the political arena, which hasn’t happened yet either.

      you might also want to look at this article in the activist by bhaskar sunkara

    12. BenSix — on 18th April, 2010 at 8:37 pm  

      Ooh, the big-C establishment is doing its best to co-opt the critters. The idea that people who helped gorge the state under Bush would let it be subjected to a conservative crash-diet is a perplexing one.

    13. Naadir Jeewa — on 18th April, 2010 at 9:28 pm  

      If anyone wants a decent book exploring the difference between right-wing and left-wing social movements, you could do a lot worse than Tina Fetner’s How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism.

      Review here.

    14. Lucy — on 19th April, 2010 at 9:14 pm  

      Back to the Demos think-tank paper at the top of the OP - I know it has been taken up separately on PP, but I can’t figure out where that thread is going.

      Just read the Demos paper ‘Edge of Violence’ and was astounded at the negligible reference to women or questions regarding attitudes to women - put either to young men or young women. There aren’t any actually. Yeah, there’s kind of one vague reference, but only with regard to women as a means to an end (are they helpful or not helpful as a social influence seems to be the sole implication). It is as if a veil has been discreetly drawn over that aspect of people’s views, which seems really really blinkered to me.

      I think I would have expected something better from Demos.

    15. Fred — on 20th April, 2010 at 6:02 pm  

      When the head of the FBI says that – it’s time to start listening.

      What’s different about this FBI warning from the similar given by Neapolitano a year ago in the wake of an election of a black president? Except that it is even less credible now, a year having passed without any domestic terrorism incident.

      It’s a gigantic landmass with a population the same size as Europe and a history of insane, radical politics.

      Two broad and inaccurate assertions in the one short sentence. I admire your economy, sir.

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