Responding to the Paris attacks in an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, presidential candidate and former governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) said that he could not think of any group targeting innocent civilians except for radical Muslims. Huckabee used this argument to justify the intensifying call for discriminatory policies toward Muslims seeking refugee status.
“I don’t know of any other group of people uniquely that are targeting innocent civilians and committing these acts of mayhem,” Huckabee said.
In the 14 years since the September 11 attacks, domestic right-wing extremists, including white nationalists, have killed more innocent people in the United States than jihadists inspired by al-Qaeda and ISIS. Professors Charles Kurzman and David Schanzer reviewed the statistics in the New York Times:
Despite public anxiety about extremists inspired by Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, the number of violent plots by such individuals has remained very low. Since 9/11, an average of nine American Muslims per year have been involved in an average of six terrorism-related plots against targets in the United States. Most were disrupted, but the 20 plots that were carried out accounted for 50 fatalities over the past 13 and a half years.
In contrast, right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities, according to a study by Arie Perliger, a professor at the United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. The toll has increased since the study was released in 2012.
Their article was published a day before the Charleston massacre, when a white nationalist named Dylann Storm Roof was accused of opening fire in a black church, killing 9 people.
The Department of Justice acknowledges the threat and has announced the creation of a new position to focus on homegrown threats.
“[O]ver the past few years, more people have died in this country in attacks by domestic extremists than in attacks associated with international terrorist groups,” Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said. “[I]t doesn’t get discussed as much as it should.”