- How statistics get presented - to the point that people/public can emotionally accept ‘what’s going on’ - and (even) ‘why’.
- That’s the quite challenging part. ‘Discourse’ has never been nurtured to that ‘real’ level.
- Presentation tends to be more blunt, (stuck at very shallow, false sense of numbers)
- 1st paragraph quoted shows 3 kinds and their numbers are even - 17, 20, 17.
- But it’s impossible for public to really go through which were most concerning/threatening, and also go into the level of motives.
- But without being able to develop ‘talk’ about ‘motives’ - what would, could really change?
- Another angle is that ‘threats are now coming from several types, evenly, equally’ is not an idea where we should stop at.
- Especially for Muslim background people - another next large scale incident - failed to be thwarted (and happening in somewhere in so called ‘First World’) - is the real concern.
- But approaches, languages, discourses surrounding this subject are not really evolving towards ‘heal(ing)’ - ‘social rifts’
- Not evolving to foster understanding by us - corresponding to all (different) motives held by all these extremist groups.
- Doable - yes - but not done.
A study by the Institute for Homeland Security Solutions, a research consortium in North Carolina, found that from 1999-2009, in the United States there were 17 al Qaeda-inspired plots undertaken, 20 plots initiated by white supremacists and 17 by violent anti-government militants. Recent attacks include the 2009 shooting of a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the murder by “sovereign citizens” in 2010 of two Arkansas police officers at a traffic stop. In January 2011, a bomb laced with rat poison was found in a backpack along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Spokane, Washington.
Some may recoil at grouping right-wing, single-issue, and left-wing terrorists with militant jihadists. Yet, there are several benefits to promoting a more comprehensive assessment of the domestic terrorist threat. First, it ensures that society remains vigilant against threats from different sub-groups and that law enforcement has the support and bureaucratic incentives to do the same. As Norwegians learned with the 2011 attacks by Anders Behring Breivik, neglecting the threat from the right (or other ideological extremes) can leave society dangerously vulnerable.
Second, focusing our attention on domestic terrorism of all types and not just that generated by Muslim Americans can help heal the social rifts generated by 9/11. Singling out Muslim militants when we talk about terrorism in the U.S. adds to the mutual alienation of Muslims and Americans of other backgrounds. By unifying in opposition to extremism of all types, we demonstrate to ourselves and to our terrorist adversaries abroad that we remain true to American values and principles.
Editor’s note: Risa Brooks is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Marquette University and author of “Muslim ‘Homegrown’ Terrorism in the United States: How Serious is the Threat.”