Mon Dec 28th, 2020 at 12:17:14 PM EST
I wondered why the FBI refrained from calling the Christmas bombing in Nashville an Act of Domestic Terror ...
During four years of the Trump presidency, his powerbase was energized by fringe rightwing groups and outright white supremacists across the nation. In addition, Trump and his GOP gang in US Congress embraced the Confederacy as a clarion call for revolt. Turning back the clock to the days of Abraham Lincoln and the election of 1860. The Long Winter Transition fueled rapid secessions from the Union and the bloody Civil War: brothers killing brothers.
Fewer than four in 10 Americans voted for Abraham Lincoln in November 1860 -- he wasn't even on the ballot in nine Southern states -- but it was enough to win. Lincoln carried eighteen of thirty-three states, sweeping Northern population centers, and won 180 of the 303 electoral votes. His election outraged the South and triggered the Secession Winter.
Will the U.S. Constitution stand strong in the onslaught by the GOP and Donald Trump and will the traces of democracy survive in America? What will the role be of the US Supreme Court during the Biden presidency. And will US foreign policy continue on a Quid Pro Quo basis instead of a leadership role based on fundamental, liberal rights gained in the aftermath of the French Revolution: separation of Church and State. Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
In recent years the domestic terror groups did not have priority by the FBI and local law enforcement agencies. The 1st and 2nd Amendments dominated ...
FBI Terrorism Preparedness - March 01, 2002
The mission of the FBI's counterterrorism program is to detect, deter, prevent, and swiftly respond to terrorist actions that threaten the U.S. national interests at home or abroad, and to coordinate those efforts with local, state, federal, and foreign entities as appropriate. The counterterrorism responsibilities of the FBI include the investigation of domestic and international terrorism. As events during the past several years demonstrate, both domestic and international terrorist organizations represent threats within the borders of the US.
Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the US (or its territories) without foreign direction, committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
FBI Is Investigating 850 Cases Of Potential Domestic Terrorism - May 8, 2019
In an exchange with Democratic Congresswoman Yvette Clarke of New York, McGarrity noted that law enforcement has expanded powers when dealing with suspects linked to international terrorist groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaida.
"How does it give you more latitude?" asked Clarke.
"Because they're actually designated as a terrorist organization," McGarrity responded
"So we don't designate white supremacist organizations as terrorist organizations?" she said.
"A white supremacist organization is an ideology, it's a belief," McGarrity added. "But they're not designated as a terrorist organization."
The U.S. has designated about 60 groups as terrorist organizations. Most are Islamist, all are based abroad.
The Patriot Act does define domestic terrorism, which gives law enforcement some additional authority to investigate, but this does not include an actual criminal charge of domestic terrorism.
○ What is "domestic terrorism" and what can the law do about it? | CBS News |
FBI Investigators Have a DNA Match for Suspect in Nashville Christmas Bombing
Two days after a bomb rocked downtown Nashville on Christmas morning, a spokesman for Police Chief John Drake stated that Anthony Q. Warner, 63, has been named as a suspect in the RV blast that killed him and injured three people. Hours after the initial announcement, U.S. Attorney Donald Q. Cochran confirmed that DNA samples from the site of the bombing and from a home recently owned by Warner in the Nashville suburb of Antioch were a match.
"Anthony Warner is the bomber," Cochran, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, said at a press conference. "He was present when the bomb went off and he perished in the bombing." At the same press conference, the FBI agent leading the investigation Douglas Korneski also announced that "there is no indication that any other persons were involved." Investigators previously stated that Warner had a similar make and model RV to the one that exploded outside an AT&T building at 6:30 a.m. on Friday.
... As the countdown crept toward zero, the officers state that the speakers began to play the song "Downtown" by Petula Clark -- including the lyrics "the lights are much brighter there." At 6:30 a.m., the camper ignited. "It was just this huge fireball explosion," a witness told CNN, of the bomb which collapsed one building and damaged 40 others in the immediate vicinity. In the press conference announcing the DNA match at the scene, FBI special agent Korneski did not say whether or not the bureau was considering the attack to be an act of domestic terrorism.
In Germany rightwing extremists and neo-nazis have become part of the political spectrum, society and naturally within law enforcement and the Armed Forces.
Germany to present report on far-right extremism in police, military | Times of Israel - Oct. 5, 2020 |
Germany will publish a much-anticipated report on right-wing extremism in its security forces after a string of scandals over far-right networks in the police and military.
Several regional German police forces have been caught up in far-right scandals in recent months, and a unit of the country's elite KSK commando force was dissolved in July over neo-Nazi allegations.
As I have blogged often, Israel too has taken a lead in rightwing extremism, ultra-Orthodoxy and political power. The worst of combinations in a wannabee democracy. Comforted by xenophobia and Islamophobia after the 9/11 attacks on America. What leadership in the world cannot permit is full blown immunity for perpetrated war crimes and pardons of killer mercenaries.
President Trump, his followers and the QAnon treachery ...
Exclusive: FBI document warns conspiracy theories are a new domestic terrorism threat
Local FBI field office warns of 'conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists'
The bulletin, which was first reported by Yahoo News, was circulated May 30 and said the assessments were "made with high confidence" based on information from other law enforcement agencies, court documents, FBI investigations and other sources.
"The FBI assesses anti-government, identity based, and fringe political conspiracy theories very likely motivate some domestic extremists, wholly or in part, to commit criminal and sometimes violent activity," the document reads. "The FBI further assesses in some cases these conspiracy theories very likely encourage the targeting of specific people, places, and organizations, thereby increasing the likelihood of violence against these targets."
The assessment was written by the FBI's Phoenix field office and was not a product of the FBI headquarters or other members of the U.S. intelligence community. The FBI declined to comment.
○ The FBI Declared QAnon a Domestic Terrorism Threat -- and Conspiracy Theorists Are Psyched | RollingStone - Aug. 2, 2019 |
FBI learned of coronavirus-inspired bomb plotter through radicalized US Army soldier | ABC News - March 26, 2020 |
The suspected white supremacist who plotted to bomb a hospital facing the coronavirus crisis was in touch with a then-active U.S. Army soldier who wanted to launch his own attack on a major American news network and discussed targeting a Democratic presidential candidate, according to an FBI alert summarizing the case.
On Tuesday, as 36-year-old Timothy Wilson was on the verge of trying to detonate a car bomb at a Kansas City-area medical center, agents from the FBI's field office in Missouri attempted to arrest him. But shots were fired, fatally wounding Wilson, according to the FBI.
Ahead of Tuesday's incident, Wilson "espoused white supremacist ideology" and "made a threat that if any agent attempted to [search his property] they should `bring a lot of body bags," said the FBI alert, distributed to state and local law enforcement agencies in the region.
FBI arrests Army soldier who allegedly discussed plans to bomb major American news network | ABC News -
The FBI has arrested a U.S. soldier who allegedly discussed plans to bomb a major American news network, planned to travel to Ukraine to fight with violent far-right group Azov Battalion and allegedly distributed information online on how to build bombs. He also allegedly suggested targeting Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke.
According to charging documents in the case, Jarrett William Smith, who transferred to Fort Riley, Kansas, in July, joined the U.S. military only after first expressing his desire to fight in Ukraine.
... On Dec. 8, 2018, Smith allegedly led a group chat on Facebook with Lang that included discussing Smith's ability to build bombs.
Smith allegedly said, "Oh yeah, I got knowledge of IEDs for days. We can make cell phone IEDs in the style of the Afghans. I can teach you that."
○ Cesar Sayoc sentenced to 20 years in prison for mailing pipe bombs to prominent Democrats, CNN
The Tactics and Targets of Domestic Terrorists | CSIS |
These cases involved a wide range of weapons (such as firearms and homemade bombs) and targets (such as police officers, beaches, a religious-affiliated institution, and a U.S. government facility). While there has been concern about a rise in domestic terrorism in the United States, including before and after the November 2020 presidential election, there has been less public attention about domestic terrorist tactics and targets.
... this analysis compiles and analyzes an original CSIS data set of terrorist attacks in the United States between January 1, 1994, and May 8, 2020. There is a link to the methodology at the end of this analysis.
The analysis leads to several conclusions. First, it will be virtually impossible to stop domestic terrorism through reactive, defensive measures alone. The most frequent weapons used by far-right, far-left, and Salafi-jihadist individuals in lethal attacks were firearms, which are widely available in the United States. In fact, FBI data indicate that in 2020 gun purchases were at their highest levels ever.5 Other types of weapons--such as vehicles, melee devices (including hammers and knives), and the components for homemade explosives--are also widely available. In addition, some of the primary targets include public locations, which are difficult to protect from attacks.
Second, successful prevention will require more proactive measures. One is sustained targeting of extremist ideologies that espouse violence on social media platforms. Another is improving local intelligence.
Perhaps, just perhaps the Union was saved in 2020 due to the pandemic, the failure of a president to combat the SARS CoV-02 virus from early January 2020. A bragging president claiming to run in the footsteps of Winston Churchill, defeated by a virus! Originating in a wild animal market from Wuhan, China. Trade deal or no trade deal, China will surpass the US as the biggest economic market in 2028, five years earlier due to its handling of the virus in the earliest stages as a totalitarian state could.
Additional reading ...
RAND Report: Domestic Terrorism - 1996
My earliest posts on Xmas bombing ... and on "person of interest" Anthony Q. Warner.