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Polls Show Increasing Support for Breaking Up the US

A weekly compilation of the most important developments in the struggle against radical ideologies

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Islamist & Anti-Muslim Extremism 

Latest Islamic Attacks & Investigations

  • Austria became the first country in the European Union to ban the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. The United States has not, although the Trump Administration considered doing so. The Islamist lobby and the governments of Turkey and Qatar, which support the Brotherhood, pressured the U.S. to back down.
  • In Arizona, an ISIS supporter in Phoenix was arrested for posting death threats toward Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
  • An analysis of trends in extremist activity determined that there’s a symbiotic relationship between Islamist extremism and white supremacists promoting a “white jihad.”

Nigerian Muslim Writer Calls for Reform in Islam

  • A Muslim writer in Nigeria wrote in Sahara Writers that “we can never extricate ourselves from the wave of anti-Muslim sentiments if we continue to react emotionally to provocative speeches by Muslim skeptics, ex-Muslims or even anti-Muslim politicians around the world.”
  • Aliyu Bashir Linaci powerfully concluded that Nigeria “is in crisis not because there are foreign conspiracies against us but because we are too obsessed with trivialities that we cannot change. We need to rise above issues like jungle justice when it comes to blasphemy and fanaticism which can only remove all doubt that Islam is synonymous with violence.”

Latest Anti-Muslim Attacks & Investigations

  • In St. Paul, Minn. a man was arrested for assaulting his teenage neighbor for being Muslim. The defendant banged on the family’s door and told them, “you don’t belong in this country” and slapped the 18-year-old’s face four times. He also said he would attack the victim’s sister.

Alt-Right & Alt-Left Extremism

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Latest Alt-Left Attacks & Investigations

  • The Black Lives Matter organization sided with Cuba’s communist dictatorship in a social media post, blaming the United States’ “inhumane treatment of Cubans” for the hardships driving anti-government protests in the country. BLM did not express any support for the protestors, overlooking the Cuban regime’s mistreatments of black people. The organization has a history of supporting communist dictators in Cuba and Venezuela. 
  • In California, 39 Alt-Left extremists were arrested in Koreatown at an Antifa-promoted protest related to transgender issues. Police found stun guns, knives and pepper spray at the scene. The LAPD ordered demonstrators to disperse after protestors began attacking the police. Clashes erupted in the area two weeks ago after a woman attending a spa complained about a nude male in the women’s area who identified as a female.
  • In Oakland, Calif. anti-police extremists including Antifa supporters disrupted a memorial for victims of gun violence by harassing black mothers mourning their children.
  • In Portland, three Catholic churches were vandalized with graffiti depicting anarchist symbols and writing condemning “colonizers and their gods.”
  • In Salem, Ore. the Alt-Right and Alt-Left clashed outside of a Planned Parenthood building when about 20 Proud Boys fought with about 40 “counter-protestors.” Both sides were armed and two people were arrested.

Latest Alt-Right Attacks & Investigations

  • In California, a white supremacist from Los Gatos was arrested with various firearms, drugs, body armor and a manifesto explaining why he was apparently about to massacre Jews, blacks and Hispanics. He also had a bullet with “Cop Killer” inscribed into it. 
  • A plot to bomb Democratic Party targets in California was foiled when two aspiring terrorists were arrested. The pair stockpiled weapons, communicated with anti-government militias and had associations with members of the Three Percenters. They also discussed bombing the offices of Twitter and Facebook.
  • The number of people arrested for involvement in the Jan. 6 riot has risen to 539, with the largest number of defendants coming from Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania. About 55 of the defendants, roughly 10 percent of the total, have military backgrounds. At least 14 have law enforcement backgrounds. 
  • The Justice Department indicted 16 members of the Florida-based white supremacist gang Unforgiven for various acts of violence including murder, kidnapping and robbery. The gang sometimes met under the guise of “church” and used “corrupt law enforcement officers and state employees” to deliver drugs to inmates and to gather intelligence. One extremist assaulted protestors at a Peace Walk for Black Lives in June 2020.
  • In Washington state, there is controversy on Whidbey Island near Seattle over efforts by the Three Percenter militia to gain political power.
  • In Massachusetts, two white supremacists were arrested for vandalizing public property with graffiti promoting the Patriot Front extremist group. It is possible that they are linked to other acts of vandalism in recent months that involved racist graffiti and the hanging of a noose on a church sign. 
  • White supremacist and antisemitic graffiti appeared at Logan High School in Utah and buildings in Alliance, Ohio, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Viaduct. A minority-owned store in California was also burglarized by a perpetrator who left neo-Nazi writing behind. 
  • In Florida, about 100 supporters of the Jan. 6 rioters, including about a dozen Proud Boys, rallied to demand the release of the “incarcerated patriots.”

Republicans Call on Biden to Withdraw Nominee Linked to Eco-Terrorism

  • The Republican Senate Majority-Leader called on President Biden to withdraw his nominee for Director of the Bureau of Land Management, Tracey Stone-Manning, over her previous involvement in eco-terrorism with the Earth First extremist group.
  • She allegedly was involved in “tree-spiking” in Idaho in 1989, which is where metal rods are placed in trees to prevent them from being cut down. The rods damage saws and can seriously injure or even kill their operators. Documents revealed that she wrote a letter to the Forest Service warning them of the “tree-spiking” in advance and “a lot of people could get hurt” if the trees were cut down.

Hostile Foreign Influence Operations

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Biden NSA appointee formerly worked for Chinese Intelligence Front

  • President Biden’s Special Assistant on National Security Agency personnel, Thomas Zimmerman, previously was a fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, which the FBI describes as a “front group for Chinese intelligence collection and overseas spy recruitment.” The FBI says that one of Communist China’s objectives with the Academy is “influencing the foreign policy of other countries.” 

State Sponsor of Terrorism Hires US PR Firm for Its Influence Operations

  • The terrorism-sponsoring government of Qatar renewed its contract with Portland PR for another 18 months, paying the company $20,000 per month to assist with messaging to American audiences and “media relations activities.”

Other Ideological Extremism

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Partisan Tribalism Increasing Support for Breaking Up the U.S.

  • New polling data indicates a sharp rise in secessionism since the Jan. 6 riot. The survey found that 44 percent of the population in the South, 39 percent of the Pacific region, 34 percent of the northeast, 32 percent of the “Mountain” region and 30 percent of the “Heartland” region favor secession from the U.S. and joining new regional unions.
  • 2019 study warned of increasing “partisanship as social identity,” as increasingly “Democrats and Republicans both say that the other party’s members are hypocritical, selfish and closed-minded, and they are unwilling to socialize across party lines, or even to partner with opponents in a variety of other activities.”
  • Possible factors behind the trends include “doomscrolling,” a political-media industrial complex that incentivizes conflict and sensationalism; social media echo chambers; the phenomenon dubbed as “the death of expertise;” and deliberate efforts by extremist groups and hostile foreign powers to intensify and exploit America’s divisions. 

Other Ideological Extremism News

  • A Justice Department review found that only 17 percent of federal hate crimes suspects were actually prosecuted from 2005 to 2019. About 55 percent of suspects weren’t charged due to insufficient evidence.
  • In Rhode Island, warrants were issued for two members of “Rise of the Moors” for trying to use false identification to acquire firearms and violating bail conditions.
  • In Florida, a man was sentenced to a year in jail for vandalizing an Asian family’s car in Smyrna Beach. The graffiti explicitly used anti-Asian slurs and told them to “die.” He also placed nails near the car in an attempt to cause further property damage.

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