FBI director: 'White supremacist violence' is motivation for most instances of 2019 domestic terrorism

FBI director: 'White supremacist violence' is motivation for most instances of 2019 domestic terrorism

In wide-ranging testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning, FBI Director Chris Wray told the assembled senators that the FBI has made roughly 100 domestic terrorism arrests this year. The "majority" of those arrested were "motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence." This is an increase from last year; so far this year, the FBI has made "about the same number" of domestic and international terrorism arrests, said Wray.

Even this may be underplaying the growing threat of white supremacism-based terrorism, as American and international white identity groups increasingly inspire, promote, and coordinate with each other. And it is in this environment that Donald Trump continues to stoke overtly racist hatred of specific nonwhite congresswomen who have spoken out in opposition to his administration's white nationalist policies. White supremacist violence continues to grow under Trump's "leadership"; Trump himself continues to goad his far-right base through constant repetition of false claims about the dangers of nonwhite migrants and by singling out specific nonwhite Americans as focus points for his crowds' anger.

As Republicans take to television shows to defend and praise Trump's behavior—or to escalate it—we can expect white nationalist violence to continue to escalate hand in hand with Trump's own goadings. Trump has directly inspired at least one would-be terrorist to attempt a mass assassination plot against Trump's named targets. His rhetoric has escalated substantially since that time.

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