The Evolution of All-American Terrorism
So, before we get started I, want to tell you about a podcast. It's very close to my heart. It's the moth chew. Stories told to a live audience chew stories, but also deeply personal ones I know because I've been on that stage this summer. They've got something new. It's called all together now. Friday with the moth. Is designed to help. All of us feel more connected during this pandemic, the podcast feature stories that are appropriate for all ears. You can listen with friends roommates. Kids even grandma altogether now. Fridays with the moth drops his new episode every Friday from now until September catch it ever you get your podcast. Reveal is supported by ever lane. When you're staying at home for an extended period of time, twenty four seven pajamas just won't cut it. Look and feel great at home with their comfortable affordable modern basics like the organic cotton crew, t shirt, and perform leading and right now they're popular. One hundred percent human collection is donating all proceeds to feeding America's covid nineteen. Response Fund check out our collection at ever leaned dot com slash reveal, plus you'll get free shipping on your first order. That's ever lean dot com slash reveal ever lane dot com slash reveal. From the Center for investigative reporting and PR X. VIS is reveal. I'm outlets. Over the past month protests have helped. Give unprecedented. To the issue of police brutality, but right wing extremists are also trying to seize the moment at black lives. Matter Rally in Richmond Virginia, a man, claiming to be a K. K.. K. leader drove his truck into a group of protesters. In Oakland California man, who follows the online bigalow movement, allegedly shot and killed federal officer. They want to kick off chaos. They want to start the race war, and so they're always waiting for some chaotic events to happen. That will help them. Kick this off. Megan Squire is a computer scientist who studies online extremism at Ilan University in North Carolina. She seen firsthand how the recent wave of protests and counter protests can get out of control. Control so one protesting the removal of confederate monuments recently punched her in the face Megan says right wing extremists are using what's in the news to spread their message. They tracked pretty closely to whatever the news headlines are, and what they do is provide the racist anti-semitic. Fill in the blank spin on that news. All of these blue systems are like big funnels. They have a variety of ways of recruiting people into them. That's David. Reporter with the nonprofit newsroom type investigations a few years ago, revealed teamed up with type two track every single domestic terror event from two thousand eight to twenty sixteen. It showed that law enforcement was focused on extremist acting in the name of Islam, but homegrown right wing terror was a bigger threat by nearly two to one margin. We're trying to make the point that really. Rightwing extremism is much bigger problem than Islamist extremism and the government needs to be paying attention to now. We've updated the database to include a tax from twenty seventeen to twenty nineteen. We found that white extremist terror has grown and become more lethal responsible for almost the same number of deaths during the first three years of the trump presidency as during all of the Obama years. And the right wing extremists appear to target different groups. Many are driven by the same ideology. There's a very specific stripe of white nationalism that were seen run through especially these more recent mass killings today we're going to connect the DOTS and show how one act of tear inspires another thanks to online platforms, and we'll ask why law enforcement is still struggling to catch up. Reveal reporters Stan Cornyn Priska neely have been digging into this for months. PRISCO STARTS US off with the story of a man who witnessed the deadliest domestic terror attack from last year. Guillermo Glenn is well known in El Paso's Mexican American community. He's seventy nine now, and he's been a community organizer and labor rights activist for most of his life. We conducted a of protests. We blocked the bridge. We went to jail on August third twenty nineteen. He was just going about his weekend routine. It was a Saturday morning. Right in around ten o'clock so. Go to Walmart to buy some pet food and I was way in the back and I heard his great big noise. A warning gamma was going to share graphic details about what happened that day. A large number of families, women and men were running towards me from the front of the building. And I noticed at least one of the women was dripping blood as it well, there's something really wrong. I ran into the woman who is she had both her legs had received some type of this shrapnel or bullet wounds, and she was bleeding, so I stopped. There to help her in by grabbed the. Prostate, kit and try to. Tend to her wounds legs. One of the firemen paramedics came and you. You have to get her out. We're getting everybody out of the store. So. We put her in in one of those grocery baskets. When he wheeled the woman to the front, he saw what had happened. Right at the front door, there was a lot of blood. I knew then that they've been a shooter. It was a very dramatic scene. I saw the body of a man with. Half his head shot off. There was a lady lane on the payment across from where we're loading the people. XACTLY! who had taken out loans. I did how that information that he was actually shooting Mexicans. The suspected gunman, twenty one year, old Patrick crews drove roughly ten hours from outside Dallas to the El Paso Walmart right near the Mexican border police say he opened fire. Twenty three people were killed and many were wounded. And then he drove off minutes later Patrick crucial stopped his car at an intersection near the Walmart, he came out with his hands, raised in the air, and stated out loud to the Texas Rangers. I'm the shooter. He's facing ninety federal charges including forty five heat crimes. After Ghirma witness what happened that day he got in his car and went to the restaurant where his friends always gather on Saturdays several. My friends came and hug me and say Oh, you're okay. We're so glad we've been looking for you without. Doing might be there. And then they showed me the manifesto. The manifesto minutes before the attack, the shooter at posted a document filled with anti immigrant rhetoric to the online message board eight Chan some of gear. Most friends showed him a copy, so I sit down. I had some food at some my regular Saturday menudo. And, then I finally realized what had happened right after I read the manifesto. Crucial manifesto reads kind of like a corporate website. It has an about me section and parts where he outlines his warped vision for America. He matter of factly explains how his attack will preserve a world where white people have the political and economic power. He says peaceful means will no longer achieve his goal. Reporter David were says this alleged shooter is the quintessential trump era terrorist. A man largely radicalized online entrenched in white nationalist ideology and fueled by the belief that white men like himself are being replaced by Latino immigrants crucial wrote that the media would blame president trump for inspiring him, but he claimed that his ideas predated the trump campaign. Here's David Painter. Crucial especially was so filled with loathing for Latino people that he didn't see them as human. When David reads the manifesto, he can immediately see the fingerprints of other white nationalists. Here's have crusius opens his manifesto. In general I support the Christ church shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion that opening line is a direct signal back to a previous act of terrorism. The shooter who killed fifty one people at two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand just months before. David says this is part of a trend. One terrorist inspires another and the cycle continues. Gear Mo says he didn't understand all of the references at first, but it was clear to him that the manifesto had ties to a larger movement. I think he was trying to show that somebody had to take action in. That really angered me at that point. In Hawaii, would somebody come in shoot? Innocent people like that. David says crew started doing online research because of the anger. He felt over how the country was changing demographically. Doing this research. He came across. Multiple quite genocide theories including the great replacement. Great Replacement or replacement theory unites many acts of hate that we see across the country around the world, and that's this idea that comes out of nationalism. That white Europeans face a global genocide at the hands of Brown people and that they're being slowly rubbed out of existence. Only a few terrorists in recent years have referenced replacement theory by name, but it's widely popular among right wing extremists. It's linked to ideas that are many decades old, but one attack in Europe showed how those ideas can be weaponized. Andres brave ix terrorism attack in Oslo a new Toy Island Norway. In Two thousand eleven. Bribery killed seventy seven people in a bombing in mass shooting. Before the attack, he sent out a fifteen hundred page manifesto about how he planned to lead white supremacists on a crusade against the quote, Islamic vacation of Europe. Around the same time, a French writer named Renaud Camus refined and popularized the ideology in a book. The title translates to the Great Replacement and the Great Replacement Essentially Society. That Brown people, particularly refugees and immigrants from Arab countries in Europe are being deliberately brought into the country in order to replace white people as the chief demographics and the conspiracy theory claims all this is orchestrated by Kabbalah of nefarious globalists'. That's code for Jews, not replace. In August. Twenty seventeen white supremacists in the US took up this concept as a rallying cry at the unite the right rally in Charlottesville Virginia. The next day a neo. Nazi drove his car into a crowd. And thirty two year old heather. Higher This incident had an immediate impact on the public perception of terrorism, making it clear that white nationalist violence is a serious threat today. The nightmares hit home here in the city of Pittsburgh. At a Pittsburgh Synagogue in two thousand eighteen Robert Bowers is accused of killing eleven people. He went to a Jewish synagogue because he was angry about the latin-american Caravans, the caravans had been in all the news in the weeks prior to that synagogue attack, you know. He blamed Jews and went to drew synagogue to take revenge for Latino Immigration. These are the ideologies that are sick zagging across the globe. In March twenty nineteen, but gunmen who live streamed his mass shooting in Christ's Church New Zealand on facebook also wrote a manifesto. The title. The great replacement. The New Zealand Manifesto inspired the El Paso shooter to target the people he felt were replacing him. Recent manifestos and books put a new spin on violent hateful acts, but David traces these sentiments back much further. What's remarkable in a Lotta ways when I read, these manifestos is so many of them are expressing ideas that I read in the nineteen twenty s coming from Genesis. Look I would even take back to the eighteen ninety S. When I started seeing the wave of Lynch scenes in the south as a form of social control, this is very clearly a form of terrorism. After the El Paso shooting activist skier Glenn Says White. Supremacist ideology was barely part of the conversation. There were brief efforts to unite the community against hate. A few events held under the banner. El Paso strong the politicians, the businessmen the mayor. Everybody was pushing this idea that we address survive. But they weren't really talking about who caused it. Or why. Before. We talked for this story Guillermo says he didn't identify as part of this larger group of survivors that includes Jewish and Muslim communities. You know you say well, it's. It's the Jewish people that they attacked. It's the Muslim people that attacked. And you're on the border Mexican and Central Americans. But nobody talks about what does the great replacement mean? Nobody put all these incidences together and say hey. This is something that we should be aware of nationally. And he says that's part of the failure. Heart of the reason, these attacks keep happening. That story from reveals Friskin neely. As. We've been saying these extremist groups are using online communities to spread their messages and find new recruits. When we come back, we'll hear how it works. It's a conditioning process. It's a grooming process, and I let myself fall into that. The evolution of the White Supremacist Internet next on reveal. Reveal is supported by true botanical 's. Life is full of tough choices and tradeoffs. Your beauty routine what you put on your body. Every day shouldn't be one of them. True. Botanical 's uses the latest scientific advances and centuries old botanical extracts to create all natural formulas and their products like they're hydrating face, cleansers and face oils for aging breakout, prone and sensitive skin and nutrient packed to serum. You've got to try true tentacles for yourself. Get fifteen percent off your first purchase at true panicles dot com slash reveal. That's true. Botanical Garden Com slash reveal. From, the Center for investigative reporting NPR x this is reveal I'm alison. The FBI and academic researchers say there's no such thing as a terrorist profile. You can't tell who's going to become terrorists with a personality tests or demographic checklist. But the young white men who attacked the synagogues of Pittsburgh and Powei and the Walmart. No Paso. They had a lot in common, not only were they motivated by the same conspiracy theory about why people being replaced, they developed those ideas in some of the same spaces online to them, even posted their manifestos to the same website. Now. You can't blame today's white supremacist terrorism on the Internet, but you also can't understand it without talking about the way. The White Supremacist Movement uses the Internet and how that's changed over the last decade. Reveals. Stan alcorn is going to tell that story through the eyes of a man who lived it here, stand. Josh Bates Decade as a white supremacist started in his mid twenty s with a youtube video about the presidential candidate. He says he supported at the time Iraq, Obama. I was scrolling through the comments section. You know he's a Muslim. He wasn't or year. Things of that nature at somebody said you guys sound like those storm front assholes. The world's storm from. Storm Front is a message board that a former KKK leader set up in the nineties. Josh says he went there at first because he was curious than to argue. But then the middle aged message board neo. Started winning him over. How could they be convincing in these arguments like? Can you help me understand that? I wish I can answer that question. Is still ask myself that allow I ended up falling for something like that, but I guess. Similar to how we look at people who fall into calls, you know it's a conditioning process. It's a grooming process and I. Let Myself Fall into that. The experts I talked to say that first step is more about the person than what they're stepping into. Josh had just left the Marines. Where used to have a team and the mission. Now all we had was computer. It's pretty concurrent with a whole lot of people where they felt really deeply disempowered in their lives Shimin Martinez is a former white supremacist who helped people including Josh. Leave the movement, and so when you encounter information that's presented that this is like the real truth, the true truth people don't want you to have because if you did, it would be to empowering for you and to disempowering for them like. Like. That's an incredibly powerful like toxic drug. That drug widely available on the Internet is at its heart, a conspiracy theory. It says your problems aren't your fault. It's immigrants Black People Jews they talk about Oh no Hollywood and the media all these Jews there in these positions of power, and you know when you google that kind of stuff you see, and you consume it eventually after a few months. Kinda get desensitized to it and everybody's agreeing with everyone for the most part you you get along. There's online community. Star was Kinda my first one. He didn't know their names, but they were his team. Now it's been the next ten years as what he calls a keyboard warrior for the white. Supremacist, movement, he'd be there for every step in its evolution from joining the K. k. k. and the Neo Nazi National Socialist Movement to more diffuse groups and websites that called themselves all right and identity -Tarian Some of these groups would go to some lengths to appear respectable and say we're not racist. We're not Nazis. We're not the KKK. And then some of those groups were Nazis. They were the K. k. k. and you were in all of them. Does that tell you that? The differences between these groups are more about that image and the tactics than absolutely the core ideas, or they attract? Absolutely, we've been using the terms white nationalism, onepointoh nationalism, two point Oh for a few years now and one point Oh is your. Early Groups Cook clan. They're very explicit associates. Movement waterhouse, whilst goes on their uniforms under flaxen. Your two point Oh guys. They're your identity. Oba's where dressing in. Khakis. Collared Shirts doc shoes. They got these nice cropped haircuts. They call it good optics. Anybody, who was in the early one point? Oh movements like myself I can see right through. They just put lipstick on a pig solid. But people who followed the White Supremacist Movement for decades like type investigations reporter David. They say that this all right makeover of the old racist right. It was transformative that radical right was very backward looking jerry stiff and formal. They didn't have any humor was not part of their repertoire. In fact, their primary recruitment demographic really was mandatory in the ages of forty and sixty with the advent of the alright, what we saw was this very tech savvy, very agile movement that instead of running away from sort of the culturally savvy component aspects of the Internet rather embraced them holy instead of writing racist newsletters that people had to sign up for. They were making memes, jokes and places like read it and four Chan and these forums that celebrated being politically incorrect. They're the perfect place for those ideas. Ideas to take root hybridize with other fringe ideas and grow into something that could be shared on more mainstream platforms like twitter and facebook, and it was. You know very brilliant, because it meant that suddenly the recruitment demographic was much larger, and had you know lot more political activists energy They were younger, people and Josh. Bates says that energy got a huge boost in two thousand sixteen with the rise of a new presidential candidate. They're bringing drugs. They bring in crime. Their rapists and some I assume are good people because trump was spouting off a lot of the same talking points as general white nationalist. He breathed new life into that move. And the thought leaders of the movement just took full advantage. Second, take him further and they did. They started to take their ideas into the real world. After trump's election in twenty seventeen computer scientists, Megan Squire setup software to track extremists on facebook. She started out studying the misogynist Gamer Gate Movement, but that it letter to all of these different anti Muslim and neo confederate and white supremacist groups at the time facebook was as central player, if not the central player in It was the place where these guys all wanted to be. Nice looking for Crossover Ideological Crossover Group Membership Crossover. Just, trying to I. Guess map that ecosystem of hate on facebook. She watched this ecosystem plan. What one neo Nazi website would call the summer of hate? Anti Muslim marches, misogynist proud boy rallies, and what was shaping up to be this real world Mita of all these different, mostly online hate groups the unite the right rally in Charlottesville Virginia. And this is where she came across Josh, Bates. There was a person who was talking about. They didn't have enough money to go to Charlottesville. And someone else suggested. Hey, we have this crowd funding site. Why don't you set up a fundraiser when Megan Click link? She saw this whole list of white supremacist fundraisers on a website. Josh had built because go fund me had started cutting them off. It was the beginning of what Megan calls all tech at the time we're talking about. Tech was basically just replacements that were coated and controlled by people, probably in the movement or close to the momentum at least like didn't care about waste practices using their services, so they're replacing Patriot patriotic. It's kind of a one to one match there, but when it came to advertising the rally the outright. Outright didn't need all tech. They had a facebook event page and it was being promoted by hate groups that facebook had allowed to remain on the site even after they were reported by civil rights advocates I. Mean I'm a solo researcher with a laptop in rural North Carolina. And I was able to find well over two thousand hate groups operating on Facebook, and like a couple of months so. I don't have sympathy that facebook in know it was happening. Ray like that's ridiculous. NAGIN decided to go to the rally in person in part to see if this convergence of hate she was seeing on. facebook would happen in real life. Josh Bates. Went for the same reason. Never! History of white nationalism. Many people. All showing up with one place you had. Sam Klamath Roba all these groups all the groups that you've ever been a member of yet pretty much, and when you see that many people show up to support a common cause, it kind of fills you up a little bit with maybe a little enthusiasm. Maybe this isn't die. Maybe this. Maybe this could go forward. That's exactly right I believe that. That's exactly why after shut that stuff. 'CAUSE! This is not the kind of people we need to be amassing power. The rally wasn't shut down. But when it turned violent and a white supremacist killed heather higher reporter David, says this whole plan to unite the racist right backfired. All of these groups started. Splitting is huge infighting over whether they did the right thing, and in fact, the social media platforms. Taking it seriously although. That seriousness varied from platform to platform. Reminded me of Lake, when you. Catch a kid doing something that not supposed to be doing and all of a sudden. They're incredibly sorry. They already did it. You know there wasn't a whole lot of foresight there there. Sorry after the fact. It's a pattern. We've seen over and over in the last few years. A terrorist attack happens the social media platforms. Put out statements, but don't fundamentally change their policies. On Youtube you can still find old video manifestos from right wing domestic terrorists. FACEBOOK didn't ban white nationalist content until a year and a half after Charlottesville. The main step they did take at the time was to remove the accounts of a bunch of individual users and groups, but that means I don't get to just clemens. Okay, we're done here. Good job. They got to platform. Because my job is to worry about where going to go next, you would push them off of platforms like twitter. And just go from create their own new platform. And they called Gab, and it was just straight for white nationalist, and on Gab, for instance that the man who conducted the terrorism act against the tree of life, synagogue did most of his organizing, he networked with other white nationalists, and had a long string of racist and antisemitic posts before his infamous final message. Screw your optics I'm going in. On these alternative platforms vacant talk as though they didn't have to fear sensors or monitors people looking over their shoulders, so they were much more open and explicit about their hateful nece, and not just their hateful, but frankly their lust for violence, the rhetoric became incredibly violent on a lot of these smaller platforms, and this journey, trying to go mainstream only to retreat back to the violent fringe. It's the journey Josh mid to, and that's Kinda trajectory of going from white nationalist, one hundred zero. Two point own and things just from an RPG on ground and finding this thing all the base. The base is a neo-nazi. With an explicit focus on real world violence. The shared bomb making manuals and planned paramilitary trainings to prepare for a coming race war. When news broke that eleven, people had been murdered at the tree of life synagogue. They talked about it in terms of textbooks. Josh wrote in their private chat. Infrastructure is what needs targeting small hits like yesterday's while striking fear into many that only ultimately served to embolden the enemy while they're still strong. Yes the I. Don't even remember say. I guess that goes to show. Those playing a role in assess and. It's just stark latest role and you start getting into. That's the sound of someone who. was enthralled with the idea of being a hero. That's how the whole heroes dynamic works. Is that you are playing a role, you've created this image for yourself of being the hero, and now it's really important for you to live up to it, and this is how. People who've been radicalized can get talked into committing acts of violence is that they feel like they have to? Have to prove that they are the heros. They've made themselves out to be in their own minds. Josh left the basis chat room in November of two thousand eighteen. He says he was turned off by all the glorification of violence. A couple of weeks after that Atlanta anti-fascist published an article exposing his long history in the white supremacist movement, and within days he was tweeting that he was out of the Movement for Good Looking back now I don't see myself staying in movement, no matter. It's just it's tiring. I just don't And obviously everything about his wrong. Ideological racial social since everything for all. Other. Men who stayed in the base would go on to be arrested for vandalizing synagogue. Plotting to murder a couple they believed were ANTIFA activists. And trying to start a civil war, gun rights rally in Virginia. The FBI says the greatest terrorist threat in the United States today comes from what they call lone offenders terrorists who get their radical ideas from online communities who attack without ever coordinating with anyone else in the real world. According to our database. They're responsible for nearly half the terrorist fatalities since trump took office. It's a list that includes the tree of life shooter Robert Bowers the powei synagogue shooter, John Ernest, and the El Paso Walmart shooter Patrick Crushes. A lot of people will be exposed to these same ideas and not respond in a violent way, but it doesn't take very many of them to actually cause a whole lot of harm. For Law enforcement that tricky question here is. How can you tell from what someone says online? They're actually going to commit an act of violence. But for the rest of us, there's a different question. That's maybe even trickier. What do we do when people say things online, that might help push other people to commit acts of violence. Josh, said several times in our interview that over the course of his ten years in the White Supremacist Movement. He only spent a grand total of maybe five days doing things in the real world. His role was setting up websites organizing online and writing propaganda. Like an article, he wrote for alright dot com, where he told his fellow white people to quote rekindle your inner hate, and that an honorable death must be earned. You've talked about this saying you didn't do anything. You were just writing things, but just as you were radicalized through reading things online. So was Robert, bowers so as John Ernest so as Patrick cruces. Isn't writing something doing something, and do you think? What I mean by doing. Something is irl like actually getting to straightness roaming by doing zone. But he's starting to think that distinction doesn't really make a difference. I didn't actually go out getting any street brawl or physically attack anybody, but that's no different than writing something encouraging others to do. You know what I mean. I would have considered myself in a way domestic terrorist because I was out spouting off some of these same ideas. and. Feel so weird to to reference yourself in that. But. To be honest. Things Josh. Did may not meet the FBI or the Department of Justice's definition of terrorism. They didn't even get him kicked off. Social Media. But. He says he'll be making up for them for the rest of his life. That story was from reveals Stan Alcorn. We reached out to facebook for comment. They sent us a statement saying that they don't want to be a place for promoting hate or violence, and that they're making progress. They told us in the first three months of two thousand twenty. They banned more than two hundred fifty white supremacist organizations and removed four point seven million pieces of content tied to organize. We reached up to Youtube and the global Internet form to counter terrorism as well, but they didn't respond. If social media companies aren't stopping white supremacist terrorism. What about the US government? That's after the break on reveal? Hey! This is Al and before we get back to this week's show I. WanNa. Let you know about a story on another podcast this week from reveal reporter Stan alcorn about how white supremacist violence is remembered. In the wake of the killings of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor statues have been coming down across the country statues of confederate generals, but also in Mexico statues of Kista. Standard been reporting on the fight over public monuments in his home state for years and this week or ninety nine percent invisible. He tells the story of how one of these monuments came to be, and what it took to bring it down. You can hear that story starting. Tuesday June thirtieth by subscribing ninety nine percent invisible. Wherever you get your podcast until Roman, I said Hi. From the Center for investigative reporting and P R. X This is reveal I'm outlets in. A year after Josh. Bates left the white supremacist group. The base, another member of the organization shot a video of himself, speaking to a camera wearing a gas mask. He was calling on white people to acquire weapons derail trains and poison water supplies in order to ensure the survival of the white race. Later, a federal judge outside of Washington DC would read a transcript of their video into the record. Before prosecutors held a press conference, the evidence gathered by the FBI demonstrates these defendants who are self proclaimed members of the white supremacist group. The base were dedicated to the idea of doing harm to African Americans Jewish Americans and others who the defendant you'd is a threat to their twisted idea of white ethno state. Put simply this domestic terrorism investigation like he saved lives. But this law enforcement stopping white supremacist terrorism before it happens has been the exception. According to the database, we put together with type investigations since two thousand and eight law enforcement has stopped about one in three terror plots by white supremacists and other right wing extremists. Meanwhile, they've stopped terror plots by those claiming to act in the name Islam at more than twice that they've stopped three out of every four of those in other words, the FBI seems to do a better job going after terrorists whose ideas resemble the nine eleven attackers, then the right wing terrorists who've killed far more people in the two decades sense. But in the last year reporter David. My word says the FBI statements and arrests seem to show shift towards taking white supremacist terrorism more seriously. It's very clear that the FBI has caught on that. This is a problem. But it's also very clear that they have a lot of catching up to do. And getting the FBI describe how it's catching up isn't easy. His reveals Stan alcorn again. In theory there are people who can force the FBI to explain itself. Congress, but Congress has not always been focused on white supremacists, terrorism, either for instance. This hearing from twenty eleven. The Committee on Homeland Security will come to order led by Republican Congressman from New York Peter King. This committee cannot live in denial. which is what some of us would do when they suggest that this hearing diluted focus by investigating threats unrelated to Al Qaeda. Of Homeland Security and this committee. Were formed in response. The Al Qaeda attacks of September eleventh. There is no equivalency of threat between Al Qaeda and Neo Nazis. Environmental extremists or other isolated madmen. Only actually there are more than twice as many right wing, domestic terror incidents that year as anything inspired by groups like Al Qaeda, according to our data, and that was my privilege to recognize the distinguished ranking member of the Committee, the gentlemen from Mississippi Mister Thompson. The ranking member or top Democrat venue? Thank, you very much champion. Perspective, on a stand at our personal experiences, play a role in how we see the world. We've all come to this place from somewhere else. I'm from Mississippi. Might become the first black mayor of his hometown in one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, three, a place where cross burnings were used to intimidate civil rights activists. Twenty years later when he was elected to Congress, he made national news for pushing to finally prosecute the mastermind of a k. kkk killing happened when he was in college. But we are not here in these places now. mishearing. Brought up harassed. That happened just the day before. A man had placed a bomb along the route of a Martin Luther. King Day March in Spokane Washington? News reports identified the suspect as a member of the same white supremacist group. That influenced Oklahoma. City bomber Timothy McVeigh. I urge you must've chairman to hold a hearing examining the homeland security threat posed by anti government and white supremacist groups. Are you back? Over the next eight years, Thompson and other Democrats would keep asking for that hearing on domestic terrorism. They'd never get it. I called up Congressman Thompson on Skype, but his office in Bolton Mississippi the same town that elected mayor nearly fifty years ago there about five hundred people who live in this town. So I bet you must know every single one of the more or less. Not only do I know them I. Know Their business. They know my business. There are no secrets. We talked about how it felt to struggle to get his colleagues to pay attention to this threat of right wing terrorism. Plus straighten would be honest with you. 'CAUSE I knew. This problem was growing in America. And Somehow. I committed was missing the opportunity to address. And that's unfortunate. But. In Two Thousand Nineteen Democrats took control of the House and Bennie Thompson took control of the Homeland Security Committee and Eynulla. Advocate chairman. We held the here. And it was only in this hearing. That members of Congress in the public get a chance to see in here for the first time. What was going on? This hearing and other Democrat lead oversight hearings got the FBI to finally acknowledge the serious threat of white supremacy terrorism. They said that could racially motivated. Violent extremism was now as big. A THREAT IS ISIS. But these hearings didn't turn up a lot of details on exactly what the FBI was doing to deal with that threat on the ground like the number of. Cases or, arrests. So I asked the FBI agent in charge of counterterrorism for the Newark. Field Office Joe Dennehy and I think there's really been a surge in what we assess as as racially motivated violent extremism, both here in New Jersey and across the nation I think a lot of the profiles of the subjects we're. We have seen conduct successful tax her younger males. All of them really radicalized online. Now that the velocity of those threats and successful tax appears to be increasing. We obviously dedicate greater number of resources to that threat when when you talk about that dedicating a greater number of resources. Can you share anything in the way of numbers something to kind of concretely get a sense of what that looks like. Unfortunately I can't give any specifics on that on in terms of our. Personnel or assets, but I can tell you that there's a tremendous emphasis. Put on this We recognize that the threat is evolving and moving with it no question about it. And just to be clear. Why is it that you can't give more details on that? You know. I'm not comfortable talking about. The number of agents that we have working a specific threat. So no numbers and then there's the term itself racially motivated violent extremism. Why call it that Are we primarily talking about white supremacy terrorism? Me No question that. White, racially motivated. Extremism is a very serious problem. Well what else fits into that What he isn't saying is the whole point of the term. Racially motivated violent extremism is that they are not just talking about white supremacists who've been responsible for more plots and attacks in the last few years than any other kind of terrorist in our database. What happened was in two thousand seventeen. An F.. B. I. Document was leaked to Foreign Policy magazine about something. They called black identity extremists. The FBI defined them as anyone using violence quote in response to perceived racism and injustice in American society in particular police brutality. Former FBI agent Mike German, said basically, it's black. People who scare them. When Congressman Thompson heard about it, not from the FBI, but from reading about it in the press. He wondered if it was really about countering terrorism at all. You know I went through co Intel pro in the sixties. FBI. Staying on people of column, and so they look. Are we trying to unfairly target. Black. People in Black Organization again. This was scandal and the FBI said it got rid of the black identity extremist category. But in twenty nineteen, more FBI documents were leaked to reporter. Ken Clip Stein and they showed that the f. b. i. had really just taken the black identity extremists and the white supremacists, and put them both in one combined category, racially motivated violent extremism. Can you say with confidence now that the FBI is not focusing on so called black identity extremists as as a terrorist threat and potentially going after. Activists? Walking. Ny Not your that the head of the oversight committee looking at them. Why can't you sort of say it with confidence that you know? because. You know a lot of what I've found that as a member of Congress. Is as a term. A need to know. Even though you might be in a classified setting. And suppose it may have top secret clearances. Are still certain information. That, if an agency decide. For whatever reason? You don't lead the no. And I'll file. They're not going to. The F. B. is lack of transparency is why we built our own domestic tera database. And it's also why the most important thing this congress did on domestic terrorism might be something that's barely been noticed. Tucked into the National Defense Authorization Act on page nine, hundred, fifty seven. There's language that requires the FBI to for the first time. Lay Out in detail, its domestic terrorism data describing every incident assessment and investigation since two thousand nine. And breaking them down by category and saying exactly how many agents are working each threat? That data was due to Congress right as we released this story. Why. Would you have to pass an act in prominence to get somebody to collect data that ought to be Pau of one's job. Needless to say. We had to take it to that level and you had to get it in the defense. Spending bill to right. Yeah, well, you know. What you call a little home cooking. AS CONGRESSMAN THOMPSON WAITS FOR THE RESULTS He's worried that attention is. Being diverted away from right wing terrorism this time by President, trump. In the midst of the recent protests over racism and police brutality president, trump tweeted he would designate antiga short for anti-fascist terrorist organization. Even though the FBI says Antifa is really more of an ideology. Than Group He's Pro United States, and he should lead this country based on what the facts are at the time he's presented with. Thompson says he hasn't seen any evidence of a connection between Antifa and violence at the recent protests. Whereas when we spoke a right wing extremists, who is obsessed with the coming civil war had just been charged with killing a federal security officer near a protest in Oakland and I'm glad that the law enforcement officials have identified and apprehended. That individual, but he said let the professionals do their job. That story was from reveals Stan Alcorn. Just to be clear, the president does not have the power to designate terrorist groups. Still since his tweet, there'd been multiple reports of the FBI interrogating protesters about their political views and what they know about Antifa. Before we go I WANNA. Remind you that we're just one week away from launching our first ever serial American Rehab Chapter One begins with a look inside a rehab with since people to work without pay and calls therapy. Then we'll trace the origins of this type of Rehab to a dangerous cult that started in the nineteen fifties, and came to a crashing end after performing mass sterilizations on its members and using a rattlesnake to attack one of its most vocal critics. We launch American Rehab on July fourth. You can hear it on your local public radio station or right here on the podcast. Just make sure you subscribe to the reveal podcast feet. This week show was produced by Stan alcorn and brisk, neely and edited by John Sheehan Talk You tell Anita's with help from s to Kaplan and Suo. Special thanks to our partners at type. Investigations, David, Nye word an chrome and Sarah. Blue Stain Victoria is our general counsel of production managers Jeeva mean our sound design team is the dynamic duo J. Breezy Mr. Jim Briggs Fernando men, Rueda. This week show was mixed score. By RAHM teen Arab Louis with help from aiming stuff. Our CEO is Krista. SCHARF Burke Matt Thompson is our editor and chief. Our executive producer is Kevin Sullivan. Our theme music is by Colorado Lightning support for reveals provided by the reason Dave Logan Foundation the John D and Catherine T. Macarthur, foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Ford Foundation the Housing Simon's foundation, the Democracy Fund and the Ethics Excellence in Journalism Foundation reveal is a CO production of the Center for Investigative Reporting Npr, Ex Amal Edson and remember there is always more to the story.