Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced the arrest of dozens of white supremacists in a bust of a gang in Arkansas known as the New Aryan Empire, which is suspected of being a racketeering organization. The FBI made the arrest, in connection with the Little Rock district offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (ATF):
“According to the allegations in the indictment announced today, New Aryan Empire associates maintained their criminal enterprise by engaging in multiple acts of violence — including kidnapping and attempting to murder one informant, and stabbing and maiming two others suspected of cooperating with law enforcement,” said Assistant Attorney General [Brian] Benczkowski. “I want to thank our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners for vigorously investigating this vicious criminal organization.”
In 2017, the Trump administration froze funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism program, which issues grants to communities to combat far-right and white supremacist extremism. The administration considered diverting these funds to counter Islamic extremism instead, and in 2018 the DHS revealed it has no plans to extend the program beyond this year, when it runs out of funding.
Homegrown right-wing domestic terrorism is a serious problem. In 2018, the far right was responsible for every extremist killing in the United States. The president has shown little concern for this danger, even going so far as to say that there were “some very fine people on both sides” of the 2017 neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that ended with a deadly vehicle-ramming attack.