A report published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point Military Academy, with the executive summary entitled “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right,” found that “since 2007, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of attacks and violent plots originating from individuals and groups who self-identify with the far-right of American politics.” The report published January 15, discusses the potential dangers of “violent far-right” organizations, which has angered some conservatives who believe the military shouldn’t focus on right wing extremism.
The paper states that there are three distinct ideologies exist in the “American violent far right:” “a racist/white supremacy movement, an anti-federalist movement and a fundamentalist movement,” and the third “includes mainly Christian Identity groins such as the Aryan Nations.”
The study found that “presidential election years and the preceding year are characterized by an increase of far-right violence,” leading to the conclusion by the author that “in general, far-right groups and individuals are more inclined to engage in violence in a contentious political climate.”
The report found that the number of Republicans in the House was positively correlated with an increase in far-right violence. The study said it could mean those far-right groups believed those elected officials might be “more tolerant of their activities” or that “the high expectations of far-right activists during a conservative legislature” weren’t “fulfilled.
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The report was written by Arie Perliger, Director of Terrorism Studies at the Combating Terrorism Center and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Sciences at West Point.