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US insurrection anniversary highlights threat of domestic terrorism

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 06, 2021 Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

The US, the self-proclaimed flag-bearer of democracy, was dealt a devastating blow to its image by insurrectionists, apparently encouraged by the President, storming the Capitol Building in an attempt to overturn the result of the 2020 Presidential election.

The anniversary finds the United States of America on thin ice as far-right and alternative groups and extremist republican politicians have all been instrumental in inciting divisions within the nation.

A recent report has warned of the rising threat of extremism in the United States.

The report, prepared by the Atlantic Council's digital forensic research lab, states that 12 months after the attack on the Capitol by a pro Trump mob, far right groups were traced and arrested by police and federal authorities.

It clarifies that other groups have reorganized, often with an emphasis on local level politics. It found that domestic extremist groups have recruited and spread their messages through culture war debates, including vaccines, race and education.

The report asserts that groups such as proud boys and QAnon conspiracy movements have reemerged in recent months.

They have made progress by shifting to alternative online platforms, embracing rhetoric to engage more broadly with a mainstream conservative base and engaging in new political activities, particularly public health and education issues, at the local level.

The report says extremist movements were filled with paranoia following the capital riots. Members are suspicious of each other and law enforcement which has discouraged many members from attending public events.

They morph into different forms and formations but they tend to follow the same basic tenets which are white nationalist.

So whether we're talking about the Klu Klux Klan or the White Citizens Council or the Oath keepers, white Southern Baptists or Neo Nazis.

American history is replete with these types of organizations.

Dr Wilmer Leon, Author

These extremist groups have adopted smaller and less sophisticated platforms which made them vulnerable to data scrapes, breaches and hacks.

The report warns of the rise of foreign influences inside these alternative social media platforms and the dangers that they could bring.

Far right figures, such as former top Trump aide Steven Bannon, have encouraged a precinct by precinct strategy; a ground up approach that focuses on local politics

In 2022 Ronald Reagan's so called shining city on the hill has become exposed as a mirage. As the poor, the elderly, and people of colour, are still fighting in 2022 for one person, one vote.

Dr Wilmer Leon, Author

The report comes as the US prepares to remember the anniversary of the Capitol Hill riots.

During the January 6 riot thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked police, vandalized the Capitol and sent members of Congress and, then Vice President, Mike Pence, running for their lives.

Democrats have been arguing that the riot on January 6 was an insurrection based on disinformation spread by Trump who alleges that he is the true victor of the 2020 presidential election and not Joe Biden.

As an economic system based on unbridled capitalism the system eventually has to implode; the insatiable lust for markets, the insatiable lust for resources and profits, cannot be sustained.

Dr Wilmer Leon, Author

A new poll has found that 60% of Americans believe Trump's level of responsibility for the attack was either a great deal or a good amount.

Trump is often cited by US media as the one inciting his supporters to storm the Congress premises in the hope of overturning the election results.

A committee tasked with investigating the events of the January 6 riot has issued dozens of subpoenas to Trump's current and former associates.

These folks are are well funded. They are very well organized, but I don't think that there are, that they are in large enough numbers. To where they can really take over the government in the manner in which, you know in terms of a civil war and that kind of thing. I think that's a bit rhetorical. I think that's a bit of hyperbole.

Dr Wilmer Leon, Author

At least seven people died in the incident, including a police officer, and more than 700 have been arrested so far for crimes related to the breach.


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