The Evolution of All-American Terrorism (rebroadcast)
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Use the name your price tool and start an online quote today at progressive dot com price and coverage match limited by state law from the center for investigative reporting. Npr x this is reveal. I'm outlet in the morning of january. Six before the storming of the halls of congress reporter. David niwa tweeted prediction. Today is likely to be a historically violent day in the nation's capital there on the understatement. Didn't david was a surprise. That pro-trump extremists did what they did. In fact he had linked to a video from the night before shot on the streets of dc. In which a middle aged white man in a trump had tells a young white nationalist livestream back tomorrow. I don't even like say. Don't be a resident will all saying we need to go in to the capital. You certainly wasn't a surprise for any of the people who've been reporting on and researching the radical right here in the united states in the past year because they've been pretty upfront about. They were saying they're going to do this. David has been following the radical right for decades and a few years back. He in the nonprofit newsroom type investigations teamed up with reveal to start tracking. Would look to him like an uptick. In far right terrorism we put together a database of every single domestic terror events. Starting in two thousand eight in two thousand seventeen. That data showed that right wing. Extremists have become the biggest threat while law enforcement under president. Obama was focused on those acting in the name of islam. Last summer we ran the numbers for terrorism under president trump and we found that far-right terror had grown and become more lethal responsible for almost the same number of deaths during trump's first three years as during all eight years under obama and the men. It's almost always men who are responsible for. Many of those deaths were driven by the same ideology. There's a very specific stripe of quite nationalism. That were seen run through especially these more recent mass killings. Today were bringing back a show. We first aired last june. We're going to connect the dots to show. How extremist ideas and extremist violence spread online. And we'll ask why law enforcement is still struggling to catch up. Reveal reporter's stand alcorn priska mealy dug into this for months. Prisco starts us off with the story of a man who witnessed the deadliest domestic terror attack of two thousand nineteen jermont. Glenn is well known in el paso mexican american community. He seventy nine now and he's been a community organizer and labor rights activists for most of his life. We conducted a lot of protest. 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 i 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 whether something really wrong. I ran into the woman who is she had. Both legs had received some type either. Shrapnel or bullet wounds and she was bleeding so i stopped there to help her and by grabbed the first aid kit and tried to at least tend to her wounds on her legs. One of the firemen or paramedics came. And you have to get her out with everybody out of the store so we put her in now 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'd been shooter. It was very dramatic scene. I saw the body of a man with half his head shot. There was a lady lane on the payment across from where we're loading the people. I deny exactly who had out. I didn't how that information that he was actually shooting mexicans. The suspected gunman twenty one year old. Patrick cruise 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 cruises 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 guillermo 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 up and hugged me and said 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 manifest. Oh minutes before the attack. The shooter at posted document filled with anti immigrant rhetoric to the online message. Board eight chan. Some of your 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. The 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 peaceful means will no longer achieve his goal reporter. David nye 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 porter cruises 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 how 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 ron by an invasion that opening line 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. He was trying to show that somebody had to take action. That really angered me at that. Brunt why would somebody come and shoot innocent people. David says crucial started doing online research. Because of the anger he felt over how the country was changing demographically in the process of doing this research he came across multiple white genocide theories including the great replacement the great replacement or replacement theory unites many acts of hate that we see across the country around the world. And that's this. 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 reference to 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 brive ix terrorism attack in oslo and notorious island norway in two thousand eleven breivik 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 it quote islamification 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. Is this idea 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 demographic and the conspiracy theory claims. All of this is orchestrated by a ball of nefarious. Globalists' that's code for jews. In august two twenty seventeen white supremacists in the us took 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 in killed 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 twenty teen 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 all the news in the weeks prior to that synagogue attack you know. He blamed jews and went to a drew synagogue to take revenge. For latino emigration these are the ideologies that are zigzagging across the globe in march two thousand nineteen but gunman who live streamed his mass shooting in christchurch new zealand on facebook also wrote a manifesto the title the great replacement. The new zealand manifesto inspired the paso shooter to target the people. He felt were replacing him. Recent manifestos in 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 twenties coming from your geneticists. Look i would even take it back to the eighteen nineties when we first started seen the wave of lynchings in the south as a foreign social control this very clearly a form of terrorism after the el paso shooting activist gear 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 added survive. You know but they weren't really talking about who caused it or why before we talked for this story gear mo 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 he attacked. And you're on the border with the 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. 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. Thanks to our sponsor net. Sweet if you're a business owner you don't need us to tell you that running a business tough don't let quickbooks and spreadsheets slow. You down anymore. Now is the time to upgrade to net suite by oracle the world's number one cloud business system that net. Sweet show you how they'll benefit your business with a free product tour at net sweet dot com slash. Reveal schedule your free product tour right now at net sweet dot com slash reveal net sweet dot com slash. Reveal if you like what we do and you wanna help well. It's pretty simple. Just write us a review on apple. Podcasts it's easy and only takes a few seconds just opened the apple podcast app on your phone search for reveal. Then scroll down to where you see right or review and there tell them how much you love the host. Your review makes it easier for listeners to find us and it really does make a difference. If you do it you will get a personal. Thank you for me like right now. Like we're not him not you. Yes you thank you so much thank you thank you thank you thank you. Thank from the center for investigative reporting. Impe are x. this is reveal amal edson. we're continuing with our show. We first broadcast last summer about domestic terrorism during the trump administration the fbi and academic researchers say. There's no such thing as a terrorist profile. You can't tell who's going to become a terrorist with a personality tests or demographic checklist but the young white men who attacked the synagogues in pittsburgh and palais and the walmart no paso that a lot in common not only were they motivated by the same conspiracy theory about why people being replaced. They develop those ideas in some of the same spaces online to them even posted their manifestos to the same website. Eight chan 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 it's changed over. The last decade reveals stand alcorn is tell. That story is of a man who lived here stan. Josh bates decade as a white supremacist started in his mid twenty s with 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 wasn't or your things of that nature at somebody said you guys sound like those storm front letting the world is 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 then to argue but then the middle age message board neo. Nazis started winning him over. How could they be convincing in these arguments like. Can you help me understand that a. I wish i can answer that question. Because i still ask myself that. Allot how could. I ended up falling for something like that. But i guess similar to how we look at people who fall into 'cause 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 a 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's 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 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 are in these positions of power. You know when you google that kind of stuff you see it and you consume it eventually after a few months kinda get desensitized to it and everybody's agreeing with everyone for the most art you get along. There's online community star front. 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 kkk and the neo nazi national socialist movement to more diffuse groups and websites that call 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 were 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 who they attract. Absolutely we've been using the terms white nationalism onepointoh by nationalism two point oh a few years now and one point oh is your early. Groups cookouts clan. They're they're very explicit associates movement waterhouse whilst goes on their uniforms under flags. Your two point. Oh guys they're your identity eurobus. Where other dressing in khakis collared shirts doc shoes and they got these nice cropped haircuts they call it good optics but anybody who was in the early one point oh movements like myself i can see right through you know. They just put lipstick on a pig. Solid did but people who followed the white supremacist movement for decades like type investigations reporter david wert they say that this alright makeover of the old racist right it was transformative that radical right was very backward looking very stiff and formal. They didn't have any. Humor was not part of their repertoire. Infect their primary recruitment demographic really was mandatory in the ages of forty and sixty with the advent of the outright. But 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 and jokes and places like read it and fortune and these forms that celebrated being politically incorrect. There were perfect place for those ideas to take root hybridize with other fringe ideas and grow into something that can be shared on more mainstream platforms like twitter and facebook and it was. You know very brilliant because it meant that suddenly their recruitment demographic was much larger and had you know a 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're bringing 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 nationalists. He breathed new life into that. Move and the thought leaders of the movement took full advantage. Second a take it even further and they did. They started to take their ideas into the real world. They were being emboldened by trump and acting out after trump's election in two thousand seventeen computer scientists. Megan squire setup software to track extremists on facebook. She started out studying the misogynist gamergater movement but that it letter to different anti muslim and neo confederate and white supremacist groups at the time. Facebook was a central player. If not the central player in it was the place where these guys all wanted to be. And i was 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. This is where she came across josh bates. There was the person who was talking about. They didn't have enough money to to charlottesville and that someone else suggested. Hey we have the crowd funding site one at you set up a fund raiser when megan click the 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 are close to the momentum. At least like didn't care about waste premises using their services so they're replacing patriotic with hadrian. Like it's kind of one match there but when it came to advertising the rally the 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 in like a couple of months. So you know i don't have a lot of the that facebook's in no it was happening right like that's ridiculous. Meghan 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 the history of white nationalism that many people all showing up at one. Place ahead sam clamp roba all these groups all the groups that you'd 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 feels you up a little bit. Maybe a little enthusiasm among any. Maybe this isn't dying. Maybe this maybe this could go forward. That's exactly right. I believe that that's exactly why you have to shut that stuff down because this is not the kind of people we need to be a massive power. The rally wasn't shut down but when it turned violent and a white supremacist killed. Heather higher reporter. David wert says this whole plan to unite. The racist right backfired. All of these groups started splitting their is huge infighting over whether they did the right thing and in fact the social media platforms actually then began taking it seriously although that seriousness varied from platform to platform reminded me of lake. When you catch a kid doing something. They're not supposed to be doing and all of a sudden they're incredibly. Sorry but they already did. 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 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 bunch of individual users and groups. But that means. I don't get to just climbing hands okay. We're done here good job. They got platform. Because my job is to worry about where they're gonna go next. You would push them off of platforms like twitter and they would just from create their own new platform and they called it gab. And it was just straight for white nationalist and amazon 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 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 or people looking over their shoulders so they were much more open and explicit about their hateful and not just their hateful nece 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. Made to and. That's kind of the trajectory of going from white nationalist. One zero two point. Zero things are going on ground and finding this thing called the base. The base is a neo. Nazi network 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 in terms of tactics. Josh wrote in their private chat infrastructure is what needs targeting small hits like yesterday's most striking fear into many that only ultimately served to embolden the enemy. While they're still strong yes he i don't even remember say. I guess that goes to show those playing a role in a sense and is just starting to play this 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 twenty 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 room. No matter getting. Dr not is just tiring i just don't And obviously everything about it is wrong. Ideological racial social. Everything is wrong. 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 at a gun rights rally in virginia the f. b. i. 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 earnest and the el paso walmart shooter. Patrick cruces 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 that 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 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 right dot com retold. 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 as robert bowers so as john ernest. So as patrick crusius isn't writing something doing something and do you think what i mean by doing something years. Irl like actually getting out to. That's what i'm doing something. But he's starting to think that distinction doesn't really make a difference. I didn't actually go any street brawls or physically attack anybody but that's no different than something encouraging others to do. You know what i mean. I would consider myself in a way. A domestic terrorist is i was i was spouting off some of these same ideas and you know it's feel so weird to to reference herself in that way but you know add to be honest The 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 stories from reveals. Stand alcorn we reached out to facebook for comment. They sent us a statement saying that they don't wanna be a place for promoting hate or violence and that they're making progress. We reached out 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 you wanna know more about how we do what we do with our weekly newsletter takes you behind the scenes are investigations. Change laws minds and show. We like to say it. The world be among the first read them just takes newsletter two four seven four seven four seven. You can stop at anytime. Standard data rates apply again takes newsletter. Two four seven four seven four seven from the center for investigative reporting pr. x this is reveal. I'm outlets and a year after josh bates left the white supremacist group. The base another member of the organization shot a video of himself. Speaking into 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 that video into the record before prosecutors held a press conference as 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 who the defendant. You'd is a threat to their twisted idea of a white ethnos state put simply this domestic terrorism investigation likely saved lives but this law enforcement stopping white supremacy terrorism before it happens has been the exception. According to the database we put together with type investigations from two thousand eight to twenty nineteen law enforcement stopped about one. In three terror plots by white supremacists and other right wing extremists over that same period they stopped terror plots by those claiming to act in the name of islam at more than twice that rate they stopped three out of 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 terrorist. Who killed far more people in the two decades sense but in the last year and a half reporter. David says the f. b. i. statements and arrests seemed to show a 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 to describe how it's catching up is an easy. His reveals. stand 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 supremacy 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 dilutes focus by investigating threats unrelated to al qaeda the department of homeland security and this committee were formed in response the al qaeda attacks of september eleventh. There's 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 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 bennie thompson. Thank you very much Champion had a different 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. Become the first black mayor of his hometown in nineteen seventy-three a place where cross burnings 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 kkk killing. That happened when he was in college. But we're not here in these places now as members mishearing. He brought up an arrest. 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 a suspect as a member of the same white. Supremacist group that influenced oklahoma city bomber. Timothy mcveigh i urge. You must 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 democrats would keep asking for that hearing on domestic terrorism. They'd never get it. And 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 tibet. You must know every single one of the marlins not only do. I know them. I know their business. They know my business no secrets. We talked about how it felts to struggle to get his colleagues to pay attention to this threat of right wing terrorism. While you know it was plus straighten. Be honest with you 'cause I knew this problem growing in america and somehow committed was missing the opportunity to address. And that's unfortunate but in twenty nineteen. Democrats took control of the house and bennie thompson. Took control of the homeland. Security committee and eynulla advocating jamel. 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 coup 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 agents are cases or so. I asked the f. b. i. Agent in charge of canada terrorism for the newark field. Joe dan i think there's really been a 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 or younger males All of them really radicalized line. 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 just concretely. Get a sense of what that looks like you. Unfortunately i can't give any specifics on that In terms of our personnel or assets. But i tell you that there's a tremendous emphasis put on this We recognize that. The threat is evolving. And we're evolving with it. No question about it and just to be clear. Why is it that you can't give more details on that. I'm not comfortable talking about you. Know 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 question that you know white racially motivated. Extremism is a very serious problem. Will what else fits into that Or 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. Define them as anyone using violence quote in response to perceived racism and injustice in american society in particular police. Brutality it was so broad 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 i went through co intel pro in the sixties. Fbi staying on people of color and so they said look we trying to unfairly targeted black people and black organization again. This was a scandal and the fbi said it got rid of the black identity extremist category but in twenty nineteen more f. b. i. Documents were leaked to reporters ken clip insane and they showed that the f. b. i. Had really just taken the 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 b. I. is not focusing on so-called black identity extremists as a terrorist threat and potentially going after no okay and why not. I hear that the head of the oversight committee looking at them. Why can't you 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 supposedly they have top secret. Clearances are still so the information they if an agency aside of for whatever reason you don't need to know it and i'll file -bility they're not going to win. The fbi is lack of transparency is why we built our own domestic terror database. And it's also why the most important thing the last congress did on domestic tear might be something that's barely been noticed tucked into the twenty twenty 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 own domestic terror. 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. Why would you have to pass an in congress to get somebody to collect data at all to be 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 rent. Yeah well you know what you call a little home cooking. The law gave the fbi a deadline for that domestic terrorism report. It was right around the time. This story first aired in the summer of twenty twenty but the fbi didn't make that deadline in fact the report still isn't out when i called congressman thompson again. Last week the report was than six months overdue. We can pay us all the legislation we want to but if the implementation is delay to the point that it did happen. That really doesn't help anyone. He blames the slow pace on the trump administration. So i'm looking forward to the biden administration calling on the fbi. The follow the law. We spoke on the day. He voted with two hundred thirty one of his house colleagues to impeach president trump for incitement of insurrection. The vote took place in the room been forced to flee a week before after hearing gunshots in the halls of congress. Now in preparation for biden's inauguration. The building was surrounded by high fence and hundreds of national guard. Troops were sleeping in their uniforms on the marble floors immediate comment and i'm picking up. My colleague is well. I didn't see any of this on the sixth of january. And so. I think it's a legitimate question. Where was the cavalry when you need it. He called it a failure in leadership insecurity in sharing and acting on intelligence and also called it an act of right wing domestic terrorism. The kind he's been warning about for years story was from reveals stand. Alcorn the fbi's been tracking down people involved with the storming of the capital. The same people that cops let walk away the day off. Dozens have been arrested as record this a number that's expected to grow into the hundreds but this is only the beginning the lies in the rage behind the violence. We saw that day. They aren't going to just quietly disappear and where they take us. Next is something the fbi to new president and all of us are going to be grappling with for a long time. This week show was produced by stan. Alcorn and mealy and edited by jen. Psaki tila nita's with help from mr kaplan and suo special thanks to our partners at type investigations. David niwa darren ingram and sarah blue stain victoria. Bear netscape is our general counsel. Our production managers aiming stafa are sound design. Team is the dynamic duo. J. breezy jim briggs. Fernando my man yo arruda this week show was mixed and score by rahm teen arab. Louis special thanks to jeeva meaning and brit simpson are. Ceo's krista scharf berg mad thompson is our editor and chief. Executive producer. is kevin sullivan. Our theme music is by colorado lightning support for reveals provided by the river. David logan foundation the john. D and catherine t. Macarthur foundation the johnson logan family foundation the ford foundation the housing simmons foundation the democracy fund and the ethics and excellence in journalism foundation. Reveal is a co production of the center for investigative reporting impe. Mpr exc i'm outlets and remember. There is always more to the story.