The Jewish Center shooting in Kansas Sunday may have been preventable, if a 2009 Department of Homeland Security report on right wing extremism had been heeded. The report warned of a growing threat "from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups," but the DHS withdrew the report after pressure from conservative media, which portrayed the report as an attack on all political conservatives, not just extremists.
Since 9/11, Right Wing Terrorism Killed More In U.S. Than Radical IslamSince the 9/11 attacks, terrorists motivated by Al Qaeda-style radical Islam have killed 21 people within the United States. But terrorists motivated by extreme right-wing ideology, such as the white supremacist and anti-Semitic beliefs that appear to have motivated Jewish Center shooting suspect Frazier Glenn Miller, have killed 34 people.
Left wing extremist groups purporting to represent environmental and other causes have carried out attacks on property, but have not been responsible for any deaths in the 12 years since 9/11.
Whether the DHS report would have provided a framework to identify the threat from the man now held in the Jewish Center shooting will never be known — but what is known is that after DHS pulled the report, the terrorism analyst who wrote it resigned, along with with four other DHS experts on home-grown terrorism.
Jewish Center Shooting Suspect Was In Govt Witness Protection ProgramIt also certain that Frazier Glenn Miller was well-known to the U.S. government. In the early 1990s, Miller was apparently in the federal witness protection program, according to an investigation by The Kansas City Star.
In 1988 Frazier Glenn Miller testified against 14 other white supremacists who were accused of conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government, as well as plotting to murder an FBI agent and a federal judge.
When Miller came out of prison three years later, the Star reported, he appears to have entered the witness protection program, where he was given the alias Frazier Glenn Cross, a name he still uses.
The DHS report warned that veterans trained in combat techniques were particularly attractive to extremist groups attempting to recruit new members. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was a veteran of the first Iraq War.
Frazier Glenn Miller was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army, with two tours of duty in Vietnam. For 13 years, he served in the Army's elite Green Beret special forces unit.
Conservative Media Pressures DHS Into Withdrawing ReportThe DHS report, Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, while not classified, was intended "for official use only." But somewhere along the line, someone leaked it to the press.
The response from conservative media was as swift as it was inaccurate. Columnist Michelle Malkin characterized the report as "a sweeping indictment of conservatives," also calling the report "a piece of crap" and "one of the most embarrassingly shoddy pieces of propaganda I'd ever read."
Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity claimed that the report singles out "people who think maybe we're not controlling our borders" and "people who have pro-life bumper stickers."
The conservative Drudge Report site ran a picture of then-Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano with the headline, "SHE IS WATCHING YOU."
Report's Author Says Response Left U.S. Vulnerable To Domestic ThreatThe reaction, according to the report's author Daryl Johnson, who had worked in counterterrorism since 1991, caused a panic inside the DHS, with officials worrying that the agency's funding would be cut in light of the controversy.
But the end result was was that, Johnson said, "we are more vulnerable."
"What worries me is the fact that our country is under attack from within, from our own radical citizenry. There have been a lot of small-scale attacks lately," Johnson said in a 2011 interview. "These incidents are starting to add up. Yet our legislators, politicians and national leaders don't appear too concerned about this."
The Jewish Center shooting, allegedly carried out by rightwing extremist Frazier Glenn Miller, is the latest of those attacks, of which Johnson warned in the DHS report.