Terrorist Groups Flourish in the United States

Terrorist

Terrorism has been significant in America ever since 9/11. Dealing with terrorists is a major speaking point for people running for president. Just a few years ago Isis was seemingly a major threat to the country and Donald Trump spoke about Isis to promote himself and win the election.

However, since then we have heard little about foreign terrorist groups, and there have been no attacks linked to any of these groups.  Has terrorism just been completely eradicated in America? Well, not quite.

Terrorism coming from other countries has indeed ceased, especially after the outbreak of coronavirus. Researchers investigated the correlation in the drop in foreign terrorism with the coronavirus to see how much the virus has affected terrorism.

Gary Ackerman, who is an associate professor at the College of Emergency Preparedness explains:

During times of crisis, we often see terrorists exploit the situation and use it for propaganda. This is particularly true amongst anti-government groups on both the far-right and far-left. They take advantage of widespread anxiety and distrust in leadership to promote radicalization and violence.

Ackerman explains that during times of crisis the main form of terrorism comes from anti-government groups who can use the crisis to leverage their points.

Terrorism from other countries has seemingly stopped because the world has slowed down. Fewer people are traveling or shopping and going outside. However, this has not stopped the United States from attacks.

Who Are the Terrorists Now?

Currently, many protests are going on across the nation. Black Lives Matters protests sprouted after the murder of George Floyd. Many African-Americans protest police brutality and claim that nothing has changed in 400 years.

There are counterprotesters though, who chant blue lives matter and there is no such thing as racially charged police brutality.

The claim that the protest is filled with terrorists has been made for both sides. Though what is clear about both groups is that they are polar opposites in beliefs and values. It is not surprising that violence is bound to occur.

The definition of terrorism says that terrorism is “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” This explains that peaceful protest cannot be described as terrorism because it does not fit the description.

However, what can be described as terrorism is the destruction of property, acts of violence, or threats of violence toward civilians. Meaning that as long as either the Black Lives Matter or counterprotesters remain peaceful, neither can be described as terrorists

Although, as soon as there are threats of violence or acts of violence, it becomes terrorism, due to the political agenda behind the actions.

The Stalemate

It seems as though the two groups are locked in an eternal battle. Counterprotesters rose to protest specifically against the Black Lives Matter protestors. With that in mind, BLM gives up the counterprotesters will have no one to protest. This adds a layer to the protests because now the groups are not only protesting for political change but to beat the other as well.

There is another important accusation to mention. Many also call the police force terrorists. They claim this on the basis that they use force against peaceful protestors to stop the protests.

Essentially using acts of violence for the political gain of stopping the protests. This point is made on the basis that the political gain is preventing the protests from making change by stopping them in their tracks.

The police violence relates to the Pullman strike of 1894, where the government forced the strike to end by threatening to charge the strikers with felonies. They could do this because they attached a mail car to the end of each Pullman train. That way the strikers interfered with the delivery of the mail.

The pandemic has done what it does best. It has made things incredibly complicated. No one would believe a pandemic, protests, and terrorism would occur at the same time. Complex issues do not have simple solutions, and there is no definitive way to solve the problems of the alt. right and extremist leftists.

Written by Joseph Nelson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

NBC News: Jihadist plots used to be U.S. and Europe’s biggest terrorist threat. Now it’s the far right.

PHYS: Researchers investigate the impact of COVID-19 on terrorism

WBUR: Right-Wing Domestic Terrorism Is On The Rise. Did The Warning Signs Evade Us?

Image Courtesy of Fredrik Rubensson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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