Right-wing extremist groups are splintering after Jan. 6 -- but experts warn that only makes them 'more dangerous'
Rioters clash with police trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors. (lev radin / Shutterstock.com)

The right-wing extremists who fueled the Jan. 6 insurrection may be regrouping and gathering strength, despite the arrests of nearly 450 suspects in the Capitol riot.

Experts who monitor domestic extremism warned that extremist groups are fragmenting and growing angrier after losing their means of public communication, but they're reseeding themselves in ways that will likely sprout in new waves of violence, reported The Daily Beast.

"You will see a period of growth," says Daryl Johnson, the former lead analyst for domestic terrorism for the Department of Homeland Security. "The people on the outside periphery will likely distance themselves and get out of the movement. But the pool inside is going to be more hardcore and resolved."

Johnson, whose team faced backlash more than a decade ago after warning of the domestic extremism that nearly overturned the 2020 election, predicts more violence during the rest of Joe Biden's presidency -- and for many years afterward -- and he and other experts agree that a decentralized movement is possibly even more dangerous.

"The less organized they are, the more dangerous they are," said Oren Segal, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism.

The FBI can infiltrate organizations like the Oath Keepers or Proud Boys, but rogue members are harder to identify and monitor -- and lone wolves are nearly impossible to spot before they act.

"You have highly volatile people who can be picked up by a variety of conspiracies and movements with violent leanings," said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at the California State University, San Bernardino. "That's a big reservoir to swim in."

More than half the Capitol rioters came from counties won by Biden, and experts say that coincides with geographic trends in hate crimes and racist violence, which shows most incidents before Jan. 6 took place in the most diverse rural and suburban areas in typically Democratic states.

"In these kinds of states, the polarization and animosity are more toxic," said Arie Perlinger, director of Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.