Several branches of the US government have launched crusades to weed out “domestic terrorism.” Despite the presence of foreign threats, the efforts are focusing on “white supremacists,” a term that is disturbingly nebulous, turning the gun-sights on unexpected targets.
Homeland Security: January 6 Was a Terrorist Attack
Newly appointed US Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas, pledged to fight “domestic terrorism.” In an interview with CNN on Saturday night, Mayorkas defined the target of his battle as people who took part in the January 6 protests in Washington DC.
“To see the insurrection, to see the horrific acts of Jan. 6 were not only personally devastating but … that created in me a commitment to redouble our efforts to fight hate and to fight one of the greatest threats that we face currently on our homeland, which is the threat of domestic terrorism,” Mayorkas told CNN.
It should be noted that the FBI definition of domestic terrorism is:
“Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.”
Dept of Defense: Stand Down to Weed Out Supremacists
This new effort by Homeland Security is being mirrored in a directive put out by newly appointed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin who signed a memo last week directing commanding officers and supervisors to institute a one-day stand-down within the next 60 days to address extremism within the nation’s armed forces.’
“We will not tolerate actions that go against the fundamental principles of the oath we share, including actions associated with extremist or dissident ideologies,” the memo reads. “Service members, DoD civilian employees, and all those who support our mission, deserve an environment free of discrimination, hate, and harassment.”
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby explained the focus of the directive by emphasizing that “military personnel are prohibited from “actively advocating for and participating in supremacist, extremist or criminal gang doctrine, ideology or causes.”
In reporting on the new military directive, NPR noted that “nearly 1 in 5 charged in the aftermath of the Capitol siege appeared to have a military history” while noting that “roughly a dozen National Guard troops were dismissed from inauguration duties — at least two of whom for alleged links to extremism.”
President Biden defined white supremacism as “domestic terrorism”, intended as a primary focus of his administration.
“And now, a rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat,” he said in his inaugural address.
Foreign Terrorism Still Threatens US
It is disturbing to note the focus on domestic sources of “terror” while foreign sources are present. Last week, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a group of 11 Iranian citizens, five females and six males, who illegally crossed the border into the US. Iran is a “Special Interest Country,” defined as a country that would seek to do harm to American interests; terrorist supporting (and exporting) countries. In 2018, DHS released a revised list of special interest countries. From 2007-2018, 45,000 people from Special Interest Countries were caught trying to illegally cross the southern border. As far back as 2006, FBI Director Robert Muller announced that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah had succeeded in smuggling operatives across the Mexican border into the US.
Mayorkas served as deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under President Barack Obama. As such, he is pursuing his role in immigration security along those lines by ending a Trump-era policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). The MPP sent back more than 65,000 people who crossed the southern border illegally. Those people who claimed to be seeking asylum were told to wait for US immigration court hearings in Mexico.
In another incident of potential domestic terrorism that went under-reported, Cole Bridges, a 20-year-old American who joined the US Army in late 2019, was recently arrested and faces two federal charges: “attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State (ISIS) group and the attempted murder of U.S. military service members.” Federal investigators say Bridges converted to Islam and after being contacted by an undercover FBI agent, discussed targets for potential terror attacks in the United States, included the Sept. 11 memorial in New York City, and shared instructions for killing American troops in the Middle East.
Bridges is disturbing similar to the cases of Major Nidal Hasan and Private Nasser Abdo. Hasan is a former American Army Major convicted of killing 13 people and injuring more than 30 others in the Fort Hood mass shooting on November 5, 2009. Despite his correspondence with Anwar Nasser al-Awlaki, a senior recruiter for al Qaeda, the Department of Defense classified the events as “workplace violence” and did not charge Hasan with terrorism. Similarly, Abdo, a former US Army Private First Class, was arrested July 28, 2011, near Fort Hood, Texas, for planning a bombing attack at a restaurant frequented by soldiers from the base. Like Hasan, Abdo was not charged with terrorism. Both were Muslims and Abdo was the son of a “Palestinian” immigrant. Since the US began military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, three US servicemen have been charged with actions related to attacks on fellow US soldiers. In 2003 at the start of the Iraq War, Sgt. Hasan Karim Akbar killed two officers and wounded 14 soldiers of the 101st Airborne in a grenade and shooting attack at their base in Kuwait.
Zionism as White Nationalism
Perhaps more disturbing is the possibility that the definition of white supremacy and white nationalist can be transformed. In a disturbing development, left-wing groups have taken to referring to Zionism, the support of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, as white nationalism. As an extension, this belief labels pro-Israel evangelical Christians as white supremacists and anti-Semites.