A panel of security experts warned a congressional committee on Thursday (February 4) that the threat of domestic attacks fueled by right-wing extremist groups is likely to remain a problem in the United States for the foreseeable future.
The House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing on "Examining the Domestic Terrorism Threat in the Wake of the Attack on the U.S. Capitol" featuring several experts in the fields of intelligence and domestic security.
Former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention, Elizabeth Neumann, predicted that the upcoming months will see further attacks on "softer targets" with "roots and inspiration points" from the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
- You talked about January 6 was an inspiration point and would be an inspiration point for 10 to 20 years.
ELIZABETH NEUMANN: We have seen, on January 6 and in the month since then, online chatter that indicates that white supremacist groups and anti-government groups, in particular, view this as a rallying point. One of the examples is that in "The Turner Diaries," there's an attack on the Capitol. It's different than what we saw on January 6, but many cited that scene out of "The Turner Diaries," which is-- if folks watching are not familiar, it is a horrible book about white supremacists basically taking over the world. And-- but there's this scene where they attack the Capitol. And that's, like, the starting point for eventually leading to societal collapse and, you know, leading to nuclear war, and then you're able to start over and have a white homeland.
So sadly, some view this as huge success, even though, you know, it only lasted a few hours. They see that the terror that it caused, and they see that it was easy to do. And they believe that this is their moment, that they may actually be able to lead us into a civil war.
So some of the concern is that those that belong to those types of ideology are going to be inspired to try to bring more violence so that they can eventually reach that civil war state. In talking with extremist experts, most of them see this as one of those moments in our history where it's going to inspire and encourage people for quite some time. And that's why I gave that time period.