Terrorism in the United States

The September 11 attacks, which killed almost 3,000 people, was the deadliest terrorist attack in human history
Members of the Mississippi branch of the white supremacist terrorist group which is known as the KKK, who were charged with the conspiracy to murder three civil rights activists in 1964; 1st Row: Cecil R. Price, Travis M. Barnette, Alton W. Roberts, Jimmy K. Arledge, Jimmy Snowden.[1]

Map of 2,872 terrorist incidents in the contiguous United States from 1970 to 2017.
KEY: Orange: 2001–2017; Green: 1970–2000
Terrorism deaths in the United States

In the United States, a common definition of terrorism is the systematic or threatened use of violence in order to create a general climate of fear to intimidate a population or government and thereby effect political, religious, or ideological change.[2][3] This article serves as a list and a compilation of acts of terrorism, attempts to commit acts of terrorism, and other such items which pertain to terrorist activities which are engaged in by non-state actors or spies who are acting in the interests of state actors or persons who are acting without the approval of foreign governments within the domestic borders of the United States.

Since the end of the Civil War, organised groups or lone wolf white supremacists have committed many acts of domestic terrorism against African-Americans.[4][5] This terrorism has been in the form of lynchings, hate crimes, shootings, bombings and other acts of violence. Such acts of violence overwhelmingly occurred in the American South, and they included acts of violence which were committed by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).[6] White supremacist terrorist incidents include the Tulsa race massacre of 1921,[7] and the Wilmington insurrection of 1898.[8][9][10]

On November 19, 2019, according to remarks which were made by Matthew Alcoke, Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI Counterterrorism Division, Alcoke defines domestic terrorists as "individuals who commit violent criminal acts in furtherance of ideological goals stemming from domestic issues."[11] Although acts of violence by domestic extremists consistently meet the definition, no US criminal charge for domestic terror exists. Rather, the phrase is an FBI investigative category which is used to classify four types of extremism: "racially motivated violent extremism, anti-government/anti-authority extremism, animal rights/environmental extremism, and abortion extremism."[11] A 2017 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that out of the 85 deadly extremist incidents which had occurred since September 11, 2001, white supremacist extremist groups were responsible for 73%, while radical Islamist extremists were responsible for 27%. The total number of deaths which was caused by each group was about the same, though 41% of the deaths were attributable to radical Islamists and they all occurred in a single event — the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting in which 49 people were killed by a lone gunman. No deaths were attributed to left-wing groups.[12][13] A 2017 report by The Nation Institute and the Center for Investigative Reporting analyzed a list of the terrorist incidents which occurred in the US between 2008 and 2016 and included the 2014 killings of NYPD officers and the 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers (a total of 7 deaths saying that they could "plausibly be attributed to a perpetrator with such sympathies".[14]

In 2018, most ideologically motivated murders in the United States of America were linked to right-wing extremism.[15] As of 2020, right-wing extremist terrorism accounted for the majority of terrorist attacks and plots in the US[16][17] and has killed more people in the continental United States since the September 11 attacks than Islamic terrorism.[18] The Department of Homeland Security reported in October 2020 that white supremacists posed the top domestic terrorism threat, which FBI director Christopher Wray confirmed in March 2021, noting that the bureau had elevated the threat to the same level as ISIS.[19][20][21]

  1. ^ "Top 5 Questions About the KKK | American Experience | PBS". www.pbs.org. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  2. ^ John Philip Jenkins (ed.). "Terrorism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved August 11, 2006.
  3. ^ "Terrorism". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.). Bartleby.com. 2000. Archived from the original on June 20, 2006. Retrieved August 11, 2006.
  4. ^ "Why We Must Confront America's History of Racial Terrorism". The Leadership Conference Education Fund. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  5. ^ "Farewell to America | Gary Younge". the Guardian. July 1, 2015. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  6. ^ McVeigh, Rory. "Structural Incentives for Conservative Mobilization: Power Devaluation and the Rise of the Ku Klux Klan, 1915–1925". Social Forces, Vol. 77, No. 4 (June 1999), p. 1463.
  7. ^ Magazine, Smithsonian; Keyes, Allison. "A Long-Lost Manuscript Contains a Searing Eyewitness Account of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  8. ^ "How The Only Coup D'Etat In U.S. History Unfolded". NPR.org. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  9. ^ "Reckoning with State-Sanctioned Racial Violence: Lessons from the Tulsa Race Massacre". Just Security. May 29, 2021. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  10. ^ "Tulsa Race Massacre, 100 years later: Why it happened and why it's still relevant today". NBC News. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  11. ^ a b "The Evolving and Persistent Terrorism Threat to the Homeland". Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  12. ^ "COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM: Actions Needed to Define Strategy and Assess Progress of Federal Efforts" (PDF). United States Government Accountability Office. April 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2018. According to the [US Extremist Crime Database], activities of far left wing violent extremist groups did not result in any fatalities during this period.
  13. ^ Jacobs, Ben (December 11, 2017). "America since 9/11: timeline of attacks linked to the 'war on terror'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  14. ^ Neiwert, David (June 22, 2017). "Home Is Where the Hate Is". Type Investigations. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  15. ^ "Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2018". Anti-Defamation League.
  16. ^ Wilson, Jason (June 27, 2020). "Violence by far right is among US's most dangerous terrorist threats, study finds". The Guardian. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  17. ^ "Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2020". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  18. ^ Byman, Daniel (August 5, 2019). "After El Paso, Right-Wing Terrorists Have Killed More People on U.S. Soil Than Jihadis Have Since 9/11". Slate Magazine. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  19. ^ Multiple sources:
  20. ^ "DHS draft document: White supremacists are greatest terror threat". POLITICO.
  21. ^ "Homeland Threat Assessment − October 2020" (PDF). US Department of Homeland Security.

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