6 months ago

The Intelligence Review | volume 2 | issue 4 |

This volume is the product of a collaboration between the European Intelligence Academy (EIA) and the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB), a student-run initiative supported by the Department of Politics at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, United States. Four CIB analysts tackle some of the most pressing and timely questions confronting intelligence observers today. Topics in this volume include the possibility of a war with North Korea, and the rise of far-right militancy in the United States. The volume also includes an assessment of the impact of the Islamic State in the relations between Russia and the United States, and a discussion of Turkish politics and its effect on NATO's cohesion.

Ideology and Main Actors

Ideology and Main Actors Throughout history, the various ideologies of far-right groups have shifted; old groups have disappeared and have been replaced by new formations led by younger members. It can be easy to overlook ideological differences between these factions, but these are important in order to form an accurate picture of the far-right ecosystem. White supremacists believe that white people are superior, therefore white people should be dominant over all other races. White nationalists seek to develop and maintain a separate white national identity, but are not necessarily racial supremacists. Neo-Nazis are the post-World War II groups that aim to construct contemporary interpretations of German national socialism, modeled after the German far-right that emerged in the 1920s and persisted until the 1940s. Neo-confederates promote a revisionist history of the southern Confederate States of America and view the south’s stance in the American Civil War in a positive light. Christian identity groups believe that only the European peoples and people of kindred blood are the descendants of the Biblical figures, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, hence the descendants of the ancient Israelites, and only they can reach paradise. Finally, racist skinheads are the youth-oriented, violent element of the white supremacist movement. The contemporary far-right movement is influenced by several important actors, including individuals, organizations and groups. David Duke “is [today] the most recognizable figure of the American radical right, a neo-Nazi, longtime Klan leader and now international spokesman for Holocaust denial” (SPLC n.d.). An emerging far-right figure is Richard Spencer, a white supremacist and president of the National Policy Institute, which operates as a lobbying group for white supremacists. He is an avid organizer with many followers, who has called for a “peaceful ethnic cleansing” and sees himself as a spokesman for the “dispossessed white race” (SPLC n.d.). In 2008, Spencer coined the term “alt-right”, meaning those whose ideologies are centered on “white identity” and feel they are under attack by “political correctness” and “social justice” (SPLC n.d.). The term altright loosely defines groups with far-right ideologies that reject mainstream conservatism and favor a white-nationalist ideology. The main organization that has shaped this movement is Stormfront, a website for white supremacists with over 300,000 registered users. It is used for all types of communication and it has users that are said to be linked to over 100 violent criminal acts, committed with far-right motives, all over the world (SPLC n.d.). The Southern Poverty Law Center refers to Stormfront as the “murder capital of the internet”. Another individual that has just recently stepped into the spotlight is Jared Taylor, a white nationalist who is the founder and editor of the white supremacist magazine American Renaissance. Taylor recently authored an article containing several, templates of racially motivated posters. These posters have been popping up on college campuses all over the US. Groups and leaders such as the National Socialist Movement (NSM), led by Jeff Schoep, Identity Evropa, 28

led by Patrick Casey, the KKK, neo-Nazis, and Michael Hill, founder of the League of the South, can be considered the most active within the racially motivated farright in America. Recent Historical Development During the 1980s, 75 far-right extremists were prosecuted in the US for acts of terrorism (Smith 1994:33). In 1983, Gordon Kahl, a member of the Posse Comitatus, an anti-government and anti-Semitic group, killed two federal marshals. Later that year, a white nationalist group known as The Order robbed banks, stores and armored cars, bombed a theater and a synagogue and murdered Alan Berg, a liberal radio talk-show host. The most notable far-right attacks before 9/11, in terms of their scale and the attention they received, were the bombings of the Oklahoma federal building in 1995 and the Centennial Olympic Park in 1996. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) disseminated detailed reports regarding these attacks. In April of 1995, Timothy McVeigh, a former soldier, blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 168 people and injuring several hundred more. McVeigh claimed that his action was a retaliation for the Ruby Ridge and Waco sieges (FBI n.d.), which are prominent in far-right activist circles and have come to symbolize the perceived intent of the state to disarm citizens. In July of 1996, during the summer Olympic Games, Eric Rudolph, a Christian Identity believer and anti-gay propagandist, bombed the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, killing two and injuring over 100 others. Rudolph then went on to bomb two more locations in Georgia and Alabama (FBI n.d.). After 9/11, there have been over 30 attacks committed on American soi by people motivated by far-right ideologies. One of the most infamous is the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, perpetrated by a white supremacist, Dylann Roof, on June 17, 2015. Roof killed nine people in hopes of starting a race war (FBI n.d.). Present Status of the American Far Right Despite its long history, domestic non-Islamic extremism is often overlooked as a threat to US national security. Recent developments indicate that the American far-right is becoming a national security threat, possibly even greater than Islamist extremists. Since the November 2016 election of President Donald Trump, American farright groups have, seemingly, become emboldened through public protests and rallies, and through aggressive recruitment tactics. It is too early in Trump’s presidency to determine with certainty where he stands, regarding his level of support, on the issues involving the far-right. Earlier this year, a report on CNN disclosed President Trump’s alleged racial comments to lawmakers. The president reportedly said, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come 29

The Intelligence Review | volume 1 | issue 1
The Intelligence Review | vol. 1 | iss. 2 |
The Intelligence Review | volume 1 | issue 2 |
The Intelligence Review | volume 2 | issue 3 |
The Intelligence Review | vol. 1 | iss. 1 | Preview
The Intelligence Review | vol. 1 | iss. 1 |