Since 9/11 white supremacists and anti-government organizations have been responsible for more incidents of domestic terrorism than Islamic extremists. This is according to a study published by New America. Since 2001 there have been 48 deaths attributable to domestic hate groups while only 26 have been attributed to Muslim extremists. These numbers only account for terrorist acts that have taken place on American soil. These numbers contradict the default image of terrorist attacks on America being generally led by jihadist organizations; a default largely set by the September 11th attacks.
According to the study’s authors, “The purpose of this database is to provide as much information as possible about American citizens and permanent residents engaged in violent extremist activity as well as individuals, regardless of their citizenship status, living within the United States who have engaged in violent extremist activity.”
While the raw numbers are substantial to repainting the face of terror, closer examination reveals that right-wing domestic groups have a stranglehold on intimidation and death. Of the 26 deaths attributable to jihadist terrorism, 13 are the result of the 2009 attack on Fort Hood. If you subtract the Fort Hood deaths, Jihadists are responsible for just over 20 percent of terrorist deaths in America. American terror groups also hold a huge lead in terms of the number of terrorist events. Since 2001, there have been 19 terror attacks plotted and carried out by domestic groups compared to seven total executed by Muslim extremists.The study includes the nine deaths that resulted in the Emanuel AME shooting in South Carolina at the hands of Dylann Storm Roof.
While these numbers may surprise some, many have understood the growing threat of right-wing terrorism in the U.S. A New York Times article published earlier this month on the subject cites a 2014 study by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) that states that “of 382 law enforcement agencies, 74 percent reported anti-government extremism as one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdiction; 39 percent listed extremism connected with Al Qaeda or like-minded terrorist organizations.”
The study only counted attacks with specific political/religious idealogies. Mass Shootings like Sandy Hook were not counted in the study despite the fact that these incidents represent a greater number of fatalities.