A study of terrorist attacks in the west found that terrorist attacks by far-right groups are increasing and connected to online activity.
A new report examining terrorist attacks in the West sheds light on the growing number of far-right terrorist incidents in the US. As NPR pointed out, this week there are currently three men in custody charged with three separate accounts of domestic extremism.
With the horrific murders in Pittsburgh last week, and the series of mail bombs sent to critics of Trump, far-right extremism at home has been making headlines. And according to new analysis, the attacks by far-right extremists as part of an uptake of extreme ideologies and violence across the country.
Researchers at The Henry Jackson Society, a center-right think tank based in the UK that examines foreign policy, combed through 122 terrorist attacks from 2016 and 2017, and found that there was a slight decline in ISIS-connected plots, but a rise in attacks by far-right groups. Attacks by far-left and far-right terrorist groups almost reached the levels of Islamist-inspired groups in 2017. The increase in far-right activity in the US coincided with online activity. In both years the levels of terrorism in the United States were among the highest in the Western world.
Europe has the lion’s share of terrorist incidents at 75 percent, but that’s mainly down to the number of people in comparison with the US. Despite the higher number of attacks and attempted attacks in 2017, the number of casualties across the West fell. In 2017 there were 89 fatalities and 918 people injured by terrorism. In 2016 there were 191 fatalities and 987 injured.
The report highlights some significant differences in the style and characterises of attacks depending on the ideology. In the US, many of the attacks were shootings, with nine of the 24 incidents there involving firearms. And the use of guns was across the board, not exclusive to any one ideology.
Far right attacks overwhelmingly occur in the suburbs and are more likely to involve explosives. It’s also exclusively male assailants, unlike Islamic extremism. In terms of fatalities, the number of deaths caused by far-right attacks as exceeded or equalled those caused by Islamic extremists, according to another report published last year by the Government Accountability Office.