Domestic Terrorism: Homegrown Violence
Brett Schultz (Editor)
Series: Terrorism, Hot Spots and Conflict-Related Issues
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), domestic terrorists—people who commit crimes within the homeland and draw inspiration from U.S.-based extremist ideologies and movements—have not received as much attention from federal law enforcement as their violent jihadist counterparts. The first chapter discusses how domestic terrorists broadly fit into the counterterrorism landscape, a terrain that since 9/11 has been largely shaped in response to terrorists inspired by foreign ideologies. This chapter focuses especially on how domestic terrorism is conceptualized by the federal government and issues involved in assessing this threat’s significance.
Recent events of domestic terrorism which have been either perpetrated by active duty United States military personnel, or have been indirectly linked to active duty and ex-military persons, have caused significant concern and alarm over the extent to which extremists and hate-groups are present in the military services. The Rise of Domestic Terrorism and Its Relation to United States Armed Forces is discussed in chapter 2.
In light of the violence related to protests in Charlottesville, VA, on August 12, 2017, policymakers may be interested in how the concepts of domestic terrorism, hate crime, and homegrown violent extremism compare with one another as described in chapter 3. They are fairly distinct ideas that federal law enforcement agencies use to categorize key types of criminals whose illegal activities are at least partly ideologically motivated. November 1998 the FBI activated NICS for the purposes of determining an individual’s firearms transfer and possession eligibility whenever an unlicensed individual seeks to acquire a firearm from a federally licensed gun dealer. Federal law enumerates several grounds that disqualify someone from firearms eligibility. However, being a known or suspected terrorist is not a federal firearms eligibility disqualifier as reported in chapter 4.