An unsealed federal criminal complaint alleges that Grafton Thomas used a machete to target those who were "easily identifiable as adherents to the Jewish faith" and charges Thomas with federal hate crimes. On Saturday night, five were stabbed at a Chanukkah celebration in a predominately Hasidic Jewish community in Rockland County, New York.
Latest in Domestic Terrorism
The FBI has released a report on lone offender terrorism, which is commonly referred to as lone wolf terrorism. The report examines lone offender attacks in the United States from 1972-2015. In the report, the authors analyze a collection of data about lone offenders including demographic information, ideological inclinations and radicalization timelines. The report can be read here and below.
Andrew Jon Thomasberg, a member of the white supremacist organization Attomwaffen Division, pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia to possession of firearms while being an unlawful drug user and to making a false statement in order to illegally purchase a firearm. He faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. The plea agreement and the criminal complaint are available below.
On Nov. 5, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee examined three evolving homeland security threats: domestic terrorism, Chinese cyber and counterintelligence operations, and the risk new technologies pose to the American public.
An affidavit written by F.B.I. special agent John W. Smith was unsealed on Nov. 4 that lays out facts supporting the arrest of Richard Holzer, a white supremacist who allegedly sought to blow up a Jewish synagogue in Colorado. The affidavit claims the evidence meets the definition of “domestic terrorism.” The document can be found here and below.
In 2018, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) tracked 50 extremist-related murders, 49 of which were committed by far-right extremists and the majority specifically perpetrated by white supremacists. In the past decade, far-right extremists were responsible for 73 percent of extremist-related murders in the U.S. The Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso took the lives of 22 people, making it the most violent white supremacist attack in 50 years.
Over the weekend, the president sent a tweet that seemed to warn of civil war if he were to be impeached and removed from office:
....If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNews
Following recent attacks in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio, we have seen a renewed call for domestic terrorism laws to give federal law enforcement the same types of tools that are available to combat violent acts committed by international terrorists. Proposed bills in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate will help the FBI confront domestic terrorism on the terms it favors—left of boom.
The El Paso terrorist attack has revived interest in the possibility of making “domestic terrorism” a federal offense.
On Aug. 4, in Dayton, Ohio, a gunman opened fire and killed nine people. The day before, another shooter killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas, apparently after posting a racist message to the anonymous online forum 8chan decrying an ostensible “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Though there is no indication so far that the Dayton shooting was motivated by extremist political beliefs, the violence in El Paso is the third mass shooting in 2019 to be linked to 8chan and to some form of far-right extremism.