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Fri Oct 23, 2020, 11:22 AM

White supremacists behind majority of US domestic terror attacks in 2020

Data stands in stark contrast to claims by Donald Trump, who has argued that leftwing violence is a major threat


White supremacists and other rightwing extremists have been responsible for 67% of domestic terror attacks and plots so far this year, with at least half of that violence targeting protesters, according to a new analysis from a centrist thinktank.

The report found only a single deadly “far-left” attack in 2020, the shooting of Aaron Danielson, a rightwing activist, by a self-described “anti-fascist” during a protest in Portland this August. Experts on extremism said this was the first killing linked to an anti-fascist in the United States in 25 years.

Violent rightwing actors were responsible for 41 politically motivated attacks and plots this year, while “far-left” actors were responsible for 12, according to analysts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), who have assembled a database of domestic terror attacks going back to 1994.

The new data stands in stark contrast to claims by Donald Trump and justice department officials, who have responded to massive protests against police violence and racism by arguing that leftwing violence is a major threat, and that anti-fascist, or “antifa”, activists should be designated as a domestic terror group.

Despite months of political unrest, a much smaller number of Americans have been killed in domestic terrorism incidents this year than in previous years, CSIS analysts found, in part because there has not yet been a politically motivated mass shooting.

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