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7 April 2009
(U) Prepared by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis
Division. Coordinated with the FBI.
(U//FOUO) This product is one of a series of intelligence assessments published by the
Extremism and Radicalization Branch to facilitate a greater understanding of the
phenomenon of violent radicalization in the United States. The information is
provided to federal, state, local, and tribal counterterrorism and law enforcement
officials so they may effectively deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks
against the United States. Federal efforts to influence domestic public opinion must be
conducted in an overt and transparent manner, clearly identifying United States
Government sponsorship.UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
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(U) Key Findings
(U//LES) The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific
information that domestic rightwing*
terrorists are currently planning acts of violence,
but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about
several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first
African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and
— (U//LES) Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups
during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry
out violent acts. Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic
downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability
to obtain credit—could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing
extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and
government authorities similar to those in the past.
— (U//LES) Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first
African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new
members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal
through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.
(U//FOUO) The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the
1990s when rightwing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an
economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs, and the perceived threat to
U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers.
— (U//FOUO) During the 1990s, these issues contributed to the growth in the
number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups and an increase in
violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks,
and infrastructure sectors.
— (U//FOUO) Growth of these groups subsided in reaction to increased
government scrutiny as a result of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and
disrupted plots, improvements in the economy, and the continued U.S. standing
as the preeminent world power.
(U//FOUO) The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of
military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities
could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists
capable of carrying out violent attacks.
read more: http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/rightwing.pdf
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