Thread: American Terrorists: The Violent Far-Right Movements?

Posted by Admin On Friday, 15 February 2013 0 comments

The study identifies three major movements of violent far-right American terrorists: a racist/white supremacy movement, an anti-federalist movement, and a fundamentalist movement. The racist movement includes white supremacy groups like the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi groups like the National Alliance, and skinhead groups like the Hammerskin Nation. These groups are focused on what they perceive as restoring an “appropriate” social hierarchy including political and social control over various immigrant groups, African-Americans, and Jews. In line with the ideology of these groups, their violent acts are generally targeted toward people and communities representing specific minority groups. Neo-Nazi and Skinhead groups are much more likely to engage in attacks against persons, and often to the extreme of mass casualties.

Who Are the American Terrorists?
The Anti-Federalist movement has been popular among the extreme far-right since the 1990s, and is focused on challenging the power of the Federal government. These groups hold the belief that the Federal government is corrupt and tyrannical, and consistently and comprehensively intrudes on the Constitutional rights of American citizens. These groups hold themselves as “sovereign citizens,” and their terrorist activities are focused on the government and governmental proxy agencies such as law enforcement.

The Fundamentalist movement, including Christian Identity groups such as the Aryan Nations, has an intricate and rather confusing ideology that combines fundamentalist Christian beliefs with typical white supremacy ideals. Their interpretation of the Bible and other Christian doctrine focuses on “division of humanity according to primordial attributes.” Christian Identity movement groups tend to be the most violent far-right American terrorists, having a higher tendency to carry out mass casualty attacks than comparable groups with similar views.

Are American Terrorists Truly a “Threat?”
The study attempts to explain the factors associated with seeking membership in these various violent far-right groups, and identifies feelings of deprivation among members combined with a permissive society and “political correctness” with regard to far-right ideals. The findings contradict past assumptions that the movements are created and perpetuated by socioeconomic factors. Research indicates that these American terrorists and their groups of like-minded individuals are more likely to emerge in areas with little cultural diversity, and reflect the group feeling toward cohesiveness of communities and the boundaries thereof.

The conclusion from the research provides insight into possible means of combating the rise of American terrorists, and supports close and careful watch over the growing cooperation of the separate groups and the misguided assumptions about racial and political violence held by the government. The study suggests focusing on ”the level of violence and the proportion and size of certain minority groups; changing trends in cooperation between various ideological streams; the shift of the violence from the South to other parts of the country; changes in the balance of power within the movements; and the clear decline of some of the groups, such as anti-abortionist extremists.”

Courtesy: PakistanAffairs.


Post a Comment