An intelligence assessment released to law enforcement last week claims news of recession, the election of an African American president, rumors of new gun restrictions and the inability of veterans to reintegrate create fertile ground for radicalizing and recruiting right-wing extremists.
The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement agencies that recent news is helping “right-wing extremist groups” recruit new members and could lead to violence, and warns about the possible recruitment and radicalization of returning veterans.
DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis issued an intelligence assessment last week that said it has no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but right-wing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on fears about the recession and the election of the first African American president. The office called them “unique drivers for right-wing radicalization and recruitment.”
“Right-wing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning,” the assessment reads.
“The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the 1990s when right-wing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs and the perceived threat to U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers.,” it continues.
The report also suggests that returning veterans are attractive recruits for right-wing groups looking for “combat skills and experience” so as to boost their “violent capabilities.” It adds that new restrictions on gun ownership and the difficulty of veterans to reintegrate into their communities “could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”
“Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of right-wing extremist groups … The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by right-wing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement,” the report says.