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Right-Wing Terrorism's Renewed Threat in the U.S.

NCJ Number
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 21 Issue: 12 Dated: (December 1997) Pages: 16-21
K Marks
Date Published
6 pages
This article examines general trends in right-wing domestic terrorism in the United States and profiles particular right-wing groups and some domestic terrorist events.
Right-wing terrorism groups have increased rapidly since the 1970s and clearly present an organized threat to law enforcement. The right-wing movement is organized and technologically sophisticated. They have the capability of instantly contacting large numbers of members through the Internet and organized fax networks, which increases the risk of reinforcements arriving in siege situations. Survival expos and gun shows present opportunities for militaristic groups to arm and supply themselves. People motivated by their religious beliefs can be doubly dangerous, since they are confident that the groups they have targeted for violence are enemies of God. Infiltration and intelligence-gathering involving these groups and individuals will become increasingly difficult. People involved in right-wing groups, including militia groups, have been arrested on weapons' charges and bombing conspiracies. Infiltration by police has been the means for most of the arrests involving right-wing groups. Determining the correct approach to arresting armed individuals or groups with the least casualties to both the officers and offenders can be difficult. Local, State, and Federal law enforcement officers should pool resources and information. Among legal tools to help fight the problem is the U.S. Justice Department's recent work on guidelines for national legislation regarding the common-law movement. The right-wing groups profiled in this article are Christian Identity, Bob Mathews and the Order of Silent Brotherhood, William Pierce and the National Alliance, the militia movement and patriot groups, and Montana Freemen and "We the People." Events important to right-wing groups are also discussed, including Waco and the Branch Davidians and the incident at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, with Randy Weaver. The Oklahoma City bombing is also briefly discussed. 10 references