An unclassified report from the Department of Homeland Security warns that the economic crisis and the election of President Barack Obama will reinvigorate white supremacist and anti-government militia groups.
The report, however, is speculative:
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 recruitment.
Other issues that DHS believes could help recruitment include immigration, the perceived weakening of U.S. sovereignty, and new legislative efforts to restrict gun ownership.
The report also says that right-wing militias may try to recruit returning veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat,” the report warns. “These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence.”
DHS worries that present conditions reflect the early 1990s when the right-wing extremist movement gained strength, leading to Timothy McVeigh’s terrorist attack on the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.
But critics say the report shows that people with conservative opinions are being singled out by the Obama administration.
“So, if you disagree with Obama on amnesty for illegals or stand up for the Second Amendment, you are branded a ‘rightwing extremist’ by the Department of Homeland Security and become the subject of scrutiny by some 850,000 local and state law enforcement personnel,” Roger Hedgecock writes on WorldNetDaily.com.
This is the second time that intelligence reports worrying about right-wing extremism have been made public.
In March, a leaked report from the Missouri Information Analysis Center, a state fusion center, listed the characteristics of violent militia members which included support of presidential candidate Ron Paul. The state retracted the report after it was leaked.