The world is beset by terrorists — witness the American hostages taken in Algeria this week — but portions of our federal government continue to obsess about alleged home-grown threats from the “far right.”
The Combating Terrorism Center, which is based at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, has issued a new report on its website entitled
“Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right.”
Normally, the center’s activities are focused on al-Qaeda and other violent Islamic groups seeking to topple governments around the world. But the latest report looks inside America itself, and if the center is to be judged by the quality of its analysis in this report, it might be wise for all of us to be skeptical of its other work. The Center’s report lumps together entirely legitimate tea-party-style activists with three groups it says represent “a racist/white supremacy movement, an anti-federalist movement and a fundamentalist movement.” Together all these forces are said to have engaged in 350 “attacks initiated by far-right groups/individuals” in 2011, although the report never specifies what makes an attack a “far right” action.