Tomorrow, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will hold hearings singling out the Muslim American community for supposedly aiding and abetting domestic radicalization and terrorism.
When asked why he is singling out the Muslim American community and refusing to investigate other forms of terrorism, King has responded by saying that “it makes no sense to talk about other types of extremism, when the main threat to the United States today is talking about al Qaida.”
Yet as a January 2011 terrorism statistics report — compiled using publicly available data from the FBI and other crime agencies — from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) shows, terrorism by Muslim Americans has only accounted for a minority of terror plots since 9/11. Since the attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, Muslims have been involved in 45 domestic terrorist plots. Meanwhile, non-Muslims have been involved in 80 terrorist plots.
In fact, right-wing extremist and white supremacist attacks plots alone outnumber plots by Muslims, with both groups being involved in 63 terror plots, 18 more plots than Muslim Americans have been involved in. Here is a breakdown of attacks by group, along with a few examples of plots by some of these groups:
Anti-Government/Anti-Tax Extremists: There have been 36 plots by right-wing extremists since 9/11. These attacks include Joseph Stack’s suicide attack on a Texas IRS building and Joshua Cartwright, who became enraged after the election of Barack Obama and “believed that the US Government was conspiring against him.”
KKK/NeoNazi/White Supremacist: There have been 27 plots by white supremacists since 9/11. These attacks include a 2004 letter bombing of the Arizona Office of Diversity and Dialogue that injured three employees.
Unknown/Miscellaneous: There were five attacks that federal crime officials did not categorize.
Christian Extremists/Anti-Abortion: There were three attacks by anti-abortion extremists and Christian extremists. The killing of abortion provider George Tiller is the most prominent of these attacks.
Black Supremacist Cults: There were two plots by black supremacist cults.
Jewish Extremists: There were two plots by Jewish extremists. The most prominent of these was a plot by Robert Goldstein to attack a local Islamic center with home made C4 and other explosives.
Extreme Anti-Immigrant: There were two plots by anti-immigrant extremists. One of these was the attack by Shawn Forde, who murdered a Queens deli clerk and was motivated by racist and anti-immigrant feelings.
Anti-Jewish: There was one plot by an anti-Semitic extremist. Norman Leboon made anti-Semitic threats against Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA).
Anarchist: There was a single plot by an anarchist. Joseph D. Konopka “wreaked havoc in 13 counties by setting fires, disrupting radio and television broadcasts, disabling an air traffic control system, selling counterfeit software, and damaging the computer system of an Internet service provider.”
Given the fact that non-Muslim terrorists account for almost twice as many plots as Muslim terrorists in the United States since 9/11, King’s justification that he is targeting Muslims because they represent the primary threat seems hollow. Additionally, King’s hearings come at a time when Muslim American terrorism and involvement in extremism has actually plummeted in the past couple years, according to a Duke University study put out last month. Moreover, nearly 4 in 10 Al-Qaida related plots in the United States have been broken up thanks to intelligence provided by the Muslim community themselves and 70 percent of recent terror plots in the United States have been foiled by help from Muslim Americans.
On the eve of King’s hearings, authorities have named a white supremacist as the suspect in the case of an attempted bombing of an MLK rally in Spokane, Washington.