The FBI and law enforcement community has been warning of an increase in domestic terrorism for several years. During former President Donald Trump's administration, funding in dealing with it has remained unmatched to international terrorism.
"We elevated to the top-level priority racially motivated violent extremism so it's on the same footing in terms of our national threat banding as ISIS and homegrown violent extremism," said FBI Director Christopher Wray, speaking to Capitol Hill Feb. 2020.
There has been a dramatic increase in reports about law enforcement officers who are tied to right-wing militias and other extremist groups, as the Brennan Center explained. Among the first actions that President Joe Biden took when entering the White House was to begin a review of U.S. Government efforts to address domestic terrorism.
The first-ever National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism outlined recommendations for actions to combat the increasing threats.
Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, former chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security, Miles Taylor noted that international terrorist groups are formed in similar ways to those conducting mass shootings targeting people of color. Days after the mass shooting of a grocery store in a primarily Black community, the political discussion on cable news has surrounded the promotion of "white replacement" or "great replacement" theory. The fringe idea is one that was mentioned over 25 times in the Buffalo gunman's manifesto.
As host Nicolle Wallace explained, one political party has been promoting the theories and the language has been promoted on the Fox network by personalities like Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson for the past year.
"This is how we've seen international terrorist groups develop and become violent, except in this case it's a major political party that is seeding the narrative," warned Taylor. "In the 20 years that we spent focused on al Qaeda and later ISIS, the violence doesn't just come out of nowhere. It starts with grievances. And the GOP has become a grievance factory in this country. Whether it's concerns about the deep state that's secretly controlling our government or whether it's concerns about a stolen election or this idea that brown and Black people are going to steel my vote and replace me in the country, these grievances become fringe conspiracy theories. Those fringe conspiracy theories then get mainstreamed."
He went on to say that these ideologies have become "so incredibly mainstreamed by the Republican Party,", particularly with GOP leadership like Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) espousing the conspiracy. He also cited the rise of QAnon.
"The [QAnon] tenets are now believed around 50 percent of Republicans nationwide," he said. "The stolen election myth is believed by 70 percent, and this 'great replacement' theory is believed by another 50 percent of Republican nationwide. These are no longer fringe theories. They're mainstreamed. Then you are one tiny hop away from this idea that the grievance cannot be solved through the system and engaging in an act of violence. I genuinely believe having spent a lot of time on counterterrorism to ask the question, is the Republican Party actually cultivating terrorists? I think that's the concern that we face today."
Watch the clip below or at this link.
Former Trump official: 'Is the Republican Party cultivating terrorists?' www.youtube.com