The Recent U.S. Terror Plots You Won’t Hear Donald Trump Talking About

3 months, 20 days ago

As President Donald Trumpstruggles to defend his decision to halt refugee resettlement and immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations, its becoming increasingly obvious that the executive order he signed on Friday is a solution in search of a problem.

Islamophobia may sell in the White House, but many Americans find it hard to buy his argument that the order will keep out revolutionary Islamic terrorists but is not about religion.

No refugee from any country targeted against Trumps ban hascarried out a fatal U.S. terror attack. This fact is inconvenient for Trump. He first proposed what critics and reportedly, Trump himself referred to as a Muslim banin December 2015, after a Muslim couple killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.

Syed Rizwan Farook, the spouse, was an American born in Chicago. And Tashfeen Malik, the spouse, was a legal permanent resident of the U.S. whose native country, Pakistan, is not included in Trumps order.

Yet those facts didnt stop White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer from citing the San Bernardino shooting as a justification for Trumps ban on immigrants and travelers from other Muslim-majority countries this week.

Theres little factual basis for this anti-immigrant fear-mongering, but it does enable the Trump administration to scapegoat people from a decide of nations that have a blended population of 218 million. Only four nations in the world are that populous.

To understand the incompatibilities at work, its helpful to consider the terror threats the White House isnt talking about the ones that are part of a wider tendency of domestic terrorism motivated by white ascendancy and other forms of right-wing extremism.

First, lets talk about the fatal attacks carried out by foreigners in the U.S. Between 1975 and 2015, foreign-born terrorists including immigrants and tourists killed a total of 3,024 people on U.S. clay, according to a 2016 Cato Institute report.All but 41 of those deaths came on Sept. 11, 2001 and the following days.

Three deaths came at the hands of refugees: a pair of political attacks by anti-Castro Cubans in the 1970 s. A number of non-fatal terrorist attacks including three by refugees fromIranandSomalia, both nations on Trumps list also took place over that time.

Not merely is the demise by refugee terrorist phenomenon extremely rare, but succumbing in an attack by a foreign-born terrorist is among the least likely causes of demise in America over the past four decades.According to the Cato Institute, theres a 1 in 3.64 billion opportunity each year of dying in a terror attack carried out by a refugee.

Cato Institute
Not even sure what fraction of a percent that is.

These astronomical odds speak to the unbelievable rarity of demise by terrorism in the U.S ., especially when compared to more common causes, likeroutine gun violenceand evenshark attacks. Studieshave also shownthat new immigrants are generally equally or less likely to commit crimes than their natural-born counterparts.

Some supporters of Trumps immigration ban have pointed to terror plots in Europe in the past few years, claiming the new policy is the only way to ensure a refugee never carries out an attack on U.S. clay. Beside the obvious differences between the U.S. and Europe, these arguments often fail to acknowledge the strict vetting system that currently governs refugee resettlement into the United States. The current screening process takes between 18 and 24 months on average, and includes biometric and biographic exams, interviews and database checks carried out by both United Nations and U.S. security agencies.

But Trump has successfully exploited Islamophobia and irrational paranoia to temporarily close off U.S.borders to people from certain countries. He defended his hasty and chaos-provoking decision by claiming thatbad dudes wouldrush into the country if he awaited( as if there were no national security apparatus to prevent this from happening ).

Security experts say the terror threat from refugees and immigrants from the seven countries named in Trumps ban Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen isnt significantly higher than its been in the past, and they believe the order is only likely to make threats worse. The chairman has effectively cast aside the proverbial scalpel in favor of a sledgehammer.Now were watching him use it to perform an altogether unnecessary, far-from-surgical procedure.

This approach has created a desperate need for additional context. Between 9/11 and the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando last year, right-wing terror attacks actually claimed more lives than those reportedly motivated by Islamic extremism, according to one frequently cited examine.The government defines right-wing terror as activity often motivated by principles of racial ascendancy and the embrace of anti-government, anti-regulatory or anti-abortion beliefs.

Recent acts of right-wing terror include the fatal 2012 shooting of 6 people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, the 2015 killing of 9 people at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, and the other 2015 shooting that killed 3 people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic. Authorities disrupted many more plotsthat the public may have overlooked since they are didnt involve Muslims.

Republicans have played a role in deflecting attention away from far-right terror.In 2009, when former President Barack Obamas Department of Homeland Security issued a report on right-wing extremist radicalization, GOP leaders explosion language identify disgruntled military veterans as potential targets for terrorist recruitment. Then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano eventually apologized to veterans and retracted the report.

The cases below surely dont serve as a comprehensive list of every right-wing terror plot uncovered in the past few years, and calling attention to them is not an attempt to paint all men with right-wing beliefs as terrorists intent on killing Muslims or people of color.

Yet as long as the White House continues to focus exclusively on terrorist acts by people who claim to be acting in the name of Islam and on the least likely sources of such terrorism, like refugees Muslims in the U.S. and around the world will continue to be unfairly demonized. Critics say this is likely to complicate the fight against legitimate terror threats and inspire more terrorism, both foreign and domestic.

Sedgwick County Sheriffs Office
Left to right: Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright and Patrick Eugene Stein in booking photos provide information on Oct. 15, 2016. The men were part of a white supremacist group and allegedly planned to bomb an apartment complex full of Somali immigrants.

In October, Patrick Stein, Gavin Wright and Curtis Allen were arrested and charged with conspiring to detonate a truck bomb in a Kansas apartment complex where more than 100 Somali immigrants lived.

All three were members of a white supremacist group called The Reformer. The group espoused sovereign citizen, anti-government, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant extremist beliefs, according to an FBI agents affidavit. Authorities have since filed additional handguns charges against the defendants, who have all pleaded not guilty.

Brian Snyder/ Reuters
Kumba Mboma and Lucinda Maywood hug at a makeshift memorial outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 20, 2015, three days after a mass shooting left nine people dead during a bible analyse.

Federal authorities arrested Ronald Chaney III, Robert Curtis Doyle and Charles Halderman in November 2015 when they are allegedly tried to buy an automatic weapon, explosives and a handgun with a silencer from undercover agents. The humen had discussed a plot to assault black churches and Jewish synagogues, which they justified as a necessary assault in an impending race war. All three suspects subsequently pleaded guilty.

Mecklenberg County Sheriff
Left to right: Walter Eugene Litteral, Christopher Todd Campbell and Christopher James Barker.

Federal agents apprehended Walter Eugene Litteral, Christopher James Barker and Christopher Todd Campbell in August 2015, after discovering a plot to fabricate explosives and buy weapons and body armor to kill members of law enforcement and the U.S. military.

The men believed the federal government intended to use the armed forces to impose martial law in the United States, which they and others would resist with violent force-out, according to tribunal documents. They believed this as part of a popular conspiracy theory regarding a multi-state military exert known as Jade Helm. All three defendants afterwards pleaded guilty and were sentenced to less than two years in prison.

St Louis Police
David Michael Hagler allegedly planned to target law enforcement officers and had “extreme anti-government” opinions.

Police and FBI agents raided a home in St. Louis in March 2015 after informants revealed that its owner, David Michael Hagler, had discussed plans to go on a killing spree targeting members of law enforcement at funerals and fundraisers.

Informants said Hagler held extreme anti-government and anti-law enforcement positions, and had recently hardened his rhetoric against minorities and Muslims. Police were concerned theyd find explosives, booby traps and assault rifles at Haglers home, but an extensive search merely turned up other handguns. Hagler afterwards pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year in prisonin February 2016.

Hamilton County Jail
Robert Doggart, a political candidate who were reportedly planned to “inflict horrible number of casualties upon the foes of our Nation and World Peace.”

Robert Doggart, of Sequatchie County, Tennessee, was charged in 2015 for allegedly plotting with associates to lay siege to Islamberg, an Islamic community in upstate New York.

Doggart, a former congressional candidate, allegedly planned to use assault rifles, firebombs and even machetes to inflict horrible number of casualties upon the foes of our Nation and World Peace, according to court documents. His trial is set to begin next month.

David McNew via Getty Images
Members of the white supremacist National Socialist Movement hold swastika flags at an anti-immigration rally in Riverside, California, in 2009.

In July 2014, Pennsylvania police found approximately 20 improvised explosive devices at the house of Eric Charles Smith, a human with white supremacist ties whom authorities has hitherto apprehended. Federal officials also detected Nazi paraphernalia and literature suggesting Smith had been hosting meeting for a group “ve called the” White Church Supremacists.

One of the bomb included a message read( Expletive) the governmental forces down with Obama( racial slur) Muslim Pig, according to police.Smith pleaded guilty and was later sentenced to more than 7 years in prison.

Rensselaer County Jail
Shane Robert Smith allegedly plotted to form a “hit squad” to murder minorities and Jewish people.

Shane Robert Smith was arrested in August 2015 after allegedly amassing an arsenal of machine guns, semi-automatics, armor-piercing ammunition and silencers to form a hit squad to murder minorities and Jewish people. Officials said that the teens social media accounts were littered with dislike speech against the groups he may have intended to target. Smith pleaded guilty in 2016 and has been sentenced to 3 years in prison.

Violence and radicalism are complicated forces, often driven by complex social and political conditions and inflamed by personal factors. No single radical, or even group of them, can define a race, religion or belief system.

But extremism in any form can be a threat to U.S. security, and Trump says hes simply seeking the impossibly ambitious goal of keeping all Americans safe.If he genuinely wants to do that, he should be more consistent in recognise all potential sources of terror. Most importantly, he must not foster farther extremism, whether carried out in the name of Islam or in opposition to it.

Portions of this piece were published in a previous narrative on right-wing terror plots .

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