At the same time that the FBI secretly named “Black Identity Extremists” as one of their top domestic counterterrorism priorities, a shocking homeland security report reveals that in 2018, every act of domestic “racially-based” terrorism was carried out by white supremacists. The data, requested repeatedly by Congress, only to be met with Trump administration refusals, is contained in the report “Domestic Terrorism in 2018,” posted online by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparations.
The existence of the data was first reported by Yahoo! News on Thursday — the same day that separate, leaked FBI documents revealed that under the Trump administration, the FBI has included “Black Identity Extremists” in the top echelon of its domestic counterterrorism priority list, along with “animal rights/environmental extremists.”
“Black Identity Extremists” — a label which has been condemned as racist by the Congressional Black Caucus, since it was first revealed to be used by the FBI in 2017 — rank on what appears to be an equal level with “White Supremacy Extremists” in the leaked documents.
The documents, in the form of an FBI “Consolidated Strategy Guide,” were uncovered by The Young Turks news site, which posted them online via the document-sharing site Scribd.
The New Jersey Homeland Security report identifies 46 suspects in 32 domestic terrorism attacks in 2018. Of those, as Salon reported, 25 were identified as “white supremacists.” In addition, in every attack classified as “race based,” the suspects were white supremacists.
Other domestic terror suspects were identified as “anti-government extremists” and “single-issue extremists.”
Though the New Jersey report was circulated widely throughout the Justice Department in April, when it was compiled, Trump-appointed Attorney General William Barr repeatedly refused to reveal the data to Congress, even as members of the Senate pushed to see hard numbers on white supremacist terrorism, according to an AlterNet report.
In addition, according to a Los Angeles Times report, the Trump administration has slashed funding and cut resources for “countering anti-government, far-right and white supremacist groups. The shift has come despite evidence of a growing danger.”
Starting in 2019, according to The Young Turks, the Trump administration ceased using the label “Black Identity Extremists,” consolidating it into the more vague category of “Racially Motivated Extremism.” But in a new internal guide, the FBI says that the broader “Racially Motivated Extremism” includes, “Black Racially Motivated Extremism, previously referred to as Black Identity Extremism.”
In other words, the FBI has changed the terminology, but not the definition of “Black” extremism, which the FBI describes as an ideology intent on “establishing a separate black homeland or autonomous black social institutions, communities or governing organizations within the U.S.A.”