White supremacists pose the most serious terror threat to the United States, according to a draft report from the Department of Homeland Security.
Three different drafts of the report obtained by Politico characterize the threat from white supremacists as the deadliest domestic terror threat in the United States.
All three documents also report that 2019 was the deadliest year for domestic violent extremists since the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.
The documents indicate that “lone offenders” and “small cells of individuals” are increasingly joining up with people who share their ideologies and “will pose the primary terrorist threat to the United States.”
“Among these groups, we assess that white supremacist extremists – who increasingly are networking with likeminded persons abroad – will pose the most persistent and lethal threat,” the report indicates.
Later drafts of the report refer to “Domestic Violent Extremists” –– shifting away from the terminology “white supremacist extremists” –– as “the most persistent and lethal threat.”
The threat of these groups in all three reports is ranked above the immediate danger posed by foreign terrorist groups.
“Foreign terrorist organizations will continue to call for Homeland attacks but probably will remain constrained in their ability to direct such plots over the next year,” the report states.
According to Politico, none of the drafts indicated a threat from Antifa, who President Donald Trump and White House officials have suggested are invading American cities to cause chaos by looting and initiating violent riots. Two drafts of the report suggest that extremists have tried to exploit the “social grievances” that have proliferated protests around the country.
“Among DVEs [Domestic Violent Extremists], we judge that white supremacist extremists (WSEs) will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland through 2021,” all three versions of the report state.
The two later drafts of the report suggest that “simple tactics – such as vehicle ramming, small arms, edged weapons, arson, and rudimentary improvised explosive devices – probably will be most common.”
The report also weighed in on foreign threats, indicatinf that in fact Russia will probably be “the primary covert foreign influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation in the Homeland.”
The news comes as President Trump often appears to defend Russia, even refusing in a press conference on Friday to condemn Russia for the poisoning of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. The President seeking to turn attention away from Putin, said that he found it “interesting” how often Russia was invoked with regard to foreign relations.
As he redirected, President Trump continued instead to rail against China — painting the East Asian nation as a key threat, even as national security officials have indicated grave concerns about continued Russian meddling in the US elections.
“I don’t mind you mentioning Russia, but I think probably China, at this point, is a nation that you should be talking about much more so than Russia because the things that China is doing are far worse, if you take a look at what’s happening with the world,” Trump said.
According to Politico, former acting DHS Sec. Kevin McAleenan led the department to begin producing annual homeland threat assessments. All three versions of the report — entitled DHS’s State of the Homeland Threat Assessment 2020 — were produced in August.
It is unclear when the assessment which has not been released publicly, will be made accessible.