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Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:15 AM

The Capitol rioters speak just like the Islamist terrorists I reported on


By Jim Sciutto
Special to the Washington Post

In July 2005, while working as a foreign correspondent in London, I was alarmed to learn that two terrorists lived right down the street from me. The men had attempted to blow themselves up on the London transit system two weeks after the deadly “7/7” subway bombings that killed 52 commuters. Watching the failed suicide bombers being arrested at their apartment complex — stripped down to their underwear to ensure they weren’t wearing explosive vests — launched me on a reporting journey to answer a question: What had led these young men, living in Europe with Western freedom and opportunity, down the same path to terrorism I’d reported on so many times in the Middle East? In interviews with well-educated, often middle-class and seemingly moderate young men, I documented what was then the new and growing appeal in the West of Islamist violence built on false history and a deep, debilitating sense of victimhood.

Last month, I recognized many of the same forces driving my fellow Americans into extremism. I’m not equating the Jan. 6 rioters with those fighting to unite the world under a caliphate via a global campaign of terrorism. But domestic radicalism has deep parallels to jihadist terrorism: Both movements are driven by alienation from the political system and a resulting breakdown in social norms. For some groups and individuals, this breakdown leads to violence they see as justified to achieve political ends. Law enforcement officials are taking notice. The Department of Homeland Security now identifies American extremist violence, particularly among white-supremacist groups, as “the most persistent and lethal threat” on our shores. And, at least in recent years, violent acts by right-wing extremists have exceeded those of Islamist terrorists. Since 9/11, 114 people have been killed in attacks by right-wing terrorists in the United States vs. 107 by jihadist terrorists, according to data compiled by New America.

The similarities between domestic and Islamist terror groups are hard to avoid. Followers of both are drawn to a cause greater than themselves that gives them a shared identity and a mission to correct perceived wrongs, by whatever means necessary. At the core of this cause is a profound sense of victimization and humiliation. The terrorists I met from Afghanistan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and West London all believed that their pride and purpose had been stolen from them – by, in their case, the United States and its allies – and so were drawn to a movement that promised to restore that pride and purpose, even by violence. Today’s American extremists think (because they’ve been told by the former president and other leaders) the system is rigged against them and is bent on dismantling everything they believe in.

For both groups, their sense of oppression is built on fantasy. I interviewed many Islamist terrorists with middle-class upbringings, steady jobs and graduate degrees. Among the rioters who assaulted the U.S. Capitol were doctors, business owners and real estate agents – more victors than victims of the system. “The militants often experience their humiliations vicariously – ‘our religion is supposedly under attack’ for the jihadis, ‘our race is purportedly under attack’ for the Proud Boys,” said Peter Bergen, who has written and reported on terrorism for more than 20 years. “It feeds into a sense of grievance that they then feel they need to act upon, even though it’s not like they themselves have suffered personally.”

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https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/feb/20/jim-sciutto-the-capitol-rioters-speak-just-like-th/

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Reply The Capitol rioters speak just like the Islamist terrorists I reported on (Original post)
DonViejo Feb 21 OP
Wounded Bear Feb 21 #1
yardwork Feb 21 #2
HUAJIAO Feb 21 #3
wnylib Feb 21 #5
MomInTheCrowd Feb 21 #4

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:19 AM

1. We definitely need to start taking domestic terrorism seriously...nt

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:42 AM

2. 114 is greatly undercounting the number killed by right wing terrorists.

The government and media cover up the right wing beliefs of most of the mass killers in recent years.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:45 AM

3. Wasn't it Janet Napolitano(?) who recognized this in I think 2009?

Perhaps i have the name wrong...

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Response to HUAJIAO (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 01:29 PM

5. I think you are right.

It's not a new problem. It has been growing. The ex president made it mainstream.

I take some comfort from the fact that, although RW extremism and support for fascism was strong in the US during the 1930s, we recovered from that during the Roosevelt years. Good leadership in a president can turn things around. Public support for him can help do that, too. True, in the 30s, we did not have people attacking the Capitol, but we also did not have a president encouraging them to do so in the 30s.

So we can get through this. Our parents and grandparents did. So can we. It does not happen by itself, though. We have to make it happen, with political support for better candidates and with commitment to our values.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:57 AM

4. Been the American Taliban to me since 2005

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