view counter

Lone-wolf killersThe biggest domestic terrorist threat to Americans: White American men

Published 4 October 2017

Radical jihadists directed or inspired by ISIS, al-Qaeda, or materials posted on the internet, pose a threat in the United States – and in Europe. In the United States, however, the bigger threat has come from a different kind of attacker, one with no ties to religion – be it Islam or another religion: White American men. Since Trump took office, more Americans have been killed by white American men with no connection to Islam than by Muslim terrorists or foreigners.

Radical jihadists directed or inspired by ISIS, al-Qaeda, or materials posted on the internet, pose a threat in the United States – and in Europe. Before Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in ISIS-inspired terrorist perpetrated acts of terrorism in England, France, Germany, Canada – and in several Asian countries.

Jennifer Williams writes in Vox that in the United States, the bigger threat has come from a different kind of attacker, one with no ties to religion – be it Islam or another religion.

Here is a partial list of attacks that have occurred since the beginning of 2017:

· Sunday night, a 64-year-old white man from Nevada opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas, killing 59 and wounding more than 500.

· In August, a 20-year-old white Nazi sympathizer from Ohio sped his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a woman and injuring at least 19 others.

· In June, a 66-year-old white man from Illinois shot at Republican Congress members during an early morning baseball practice, severely wounding several people including Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House of Representatives Majority Whip.

· In March 2017, a 28-year-old white man from Baltimore traveled to New York City with the explicit aim of killing black men. He stabbed 66-year-old Timothy Caughman to death and was charged with terrorism by New York state authorities.

· In May, a 35-year-old white man from Oregon named Jeremy Joseph Christian began harassing Muslim teenagers on a train in Portland, telling them “We need Americans here!” Two men interceded; Christian then stabbed and killed them both.

In fact, between 2001 and 2015, more Americans were killed by homegrown right-wing extremists than by Islamist terrorists, according to a study by New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C.  [see Terrorism in America After 9/11 (New America, 2015); also see Arie Perliger, “Charlottesville attack shows homegrown terror on the right is on the rise,” HSNW, 15 August 2017; and “Anti-government extremism most prevalent terrorist threat inside U.S.: Law enforcement,” HSNW, 29 June 2015].

A June 2017 study by Reveal and the Center for Investigative Reporting found a similar pattern.