U.S. Faces Evolving Terror Threat: 17 Years After Homeland Security - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1726 Words
Date:  2023-08-21

The United States today faces an evolving and complex threat of terrorism from attacks plotted by terrorist groups. The same as in the past seventeen years ago during the creation of the Department of Homeland Security as foreign and domestic attacks remain intent through strikes on the homeland. Terrorism in the United States is defined as a threat by the systematic use of violence to great fear and intimidate citizens or government, which then affects religious, ideological, and political change.

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The terrorism threat in the U.S remains regardless of the creation of the homeland security and proactive legislation of several initiatives designed to counter terrorism together with various law enforcement efforts (Johnston, 2019). In recent years, most of the internal terrorist attacks in the United States have been carried out by individuals who adhere to violent extremism ideologies that are racially motivated. Such individuals have engaged in several domestic terrorist attacks across various states in the U.S. Most of them are the far-right or the right-wing extremist groups, especially the white supremacists whom most of them are inspired by terrorist actions of their colleagues who perpetrated attacks of the same kind. Others are motivated by other attacks across international borders, which make them start attacks of the same sort inside the United States. The groups continue to represent a severe terrorism group and a threat to the U.S internal security. The paper discusses the history of the right-wing violent extremist groups, specifically the white supremacy groups. Then it discusses the nature and number of terrorist attacks by the right-wing extremism groups, the influences of the right-wing white supremacy terrorism attacks, the interest of homeland security in the attacks. Lastly, it discusses the policies and practices regarding terrorist attacks and groups by homeland security.

History of the Right-Wing Extremist Groups and Terrorists

The right-wing extremism groups in the United States started with the construction of various groups who promoted the ideas. It first emerged in the U.S between 1863 to 1877 in the Reconstruction era, and they later took inspiration from Nazi Germany and the Italian Fascists. The terrorism activities by the groups, specifically the white extremism who foster feelings of peril, and at the same time, they exploit crisis that drives terrorism to the individual ethnics they are against them. The belief the only way to protect their society is through attacks.

The online history of the right-wing groups started in the 20th century in the United States. It started with Louis Beam, who was an American white supremacist. Beam started Aryan Nation Liberty Net, which was an online bulletin board system created in 1984 and was accessed from various U.S states, and was used to spread hate propaganda, which resulted to various terrorist attacks led by the white supremacy members (LaFree & Bersani, 2014). Another online white supremacy platform was the White Aryan Resistance, which was developed by Tom Metzger. In the mid-1990s, the spread of right-wing extremism was expanding largely (Bell, 2018). It is through the platforms that the recent terrorist attacks initiated by white supremacists were inspired, as they look at other attacks on international borders them copy the same.

The Nature and Number of Terrorist Attacks by the Right-Wing Extremism Groups

A report by the United States government accountability office in 2017 showed that the groups are responsible for 73 percent of the total deaths from terrorist attacks (Meier, 2020). In 2018, it was the same right-wing extremists who committed most murders in the U.S as they are motivated by their ideology. The following year 2019, Stale showed that it is the same group that leads in most terrorist attacks inside the United States, with the El Paso shooting of 2019 being linked to them (Meier, 2020).

The individuals who are inspired by the far-right ideology consists of the anti-government persons and the white supremacists. In the post 9/11 era, the terrorist attacks inspired by far-right ideologies have resulted in the death of 109 United States citizens with several casualties. The attack on El Paso Walmart store that occurred on 3rd August 2019 involved a white man who was 21 years old (Clark, 2019). The terrorism was inspired by a white supremacist, as he posted a manifesto before the incident describing his motive as an invasion of Hispanics and supported the attacks which occurred in various Christchurch, New Zeeland mosques. The El Paso attack is one of the deadly terrorist attacks inside the United States after the 9/11 attack that occurred in 2001 (Perry, 2018). Of the far-right ideological strands, it is the white supremacist which of recent which have become a threat to the country, especially after the inauguration of the current president. Most of the deadly terrorist attacks carried out in inspiration by the far-right ideologies in the current period known as the New America are linked largely to the white supremacy. In the last three years, the deaths from attacks carried out by individuals who believe in the ideologies of the far-right are 43 people (Meier, 2020). The number is four times compared to the number of deaths from other terrorist groups like the jihad in the same period, whereas, for white supremacy alone, the number of deaths is about three times higher than jihadist attacks.

Influences of the Right-Wing White Supremacy Terrorism attacks

The continued terrorist attacks caused by the right-wing, specifically the white supremacists who are a group of the far-right or the right-wing extremism groups, have been influenced by several actions to launch the attacks in the United States (Bell, 2018). Apart from influences from others through social media, as seen in different parts of the world, the acts are also influenced by conspiracy theories. The terrorists attack at the Pittsburgh Synagogue that claimed 11 lives was done by a white supremacist who framed his attack in terms of conspiracy theory that the Central American Caravan orchestrated by Jews via the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society contained Muslims whom the attacker considers them as terrorists (Bell, 2018).

Also, the recent bomb mailing incident, which was an attempted murder on the current president opponents and liberals, was inspired by a white supremacist as it was known that Cesar Sayoc, the mailer was a strong supporter of the president. It is not in the current period that the terrorist attacks by the white supremacy ideologies are growing; the ideology is deeply rooted in the history of the United States (Sandler, 2014). It is through the right-wing politics that the ideology spread through social media platforms, which then triggers most of the believers to launch different terrorist attacks in various places targeting specific individuals.

The Interest of Homeland Security in the Attacks

Homeland security was created with a mission of preventing domestic terrorism by protecting American citizens from various domestic terrorist threats (Beckman, 2013). The highest priority of the department is to protect Citizens from being attacked by any terrorist group inside the country, be it an international or internal group that engages in terrorism activities. The rampant terrorism attacks any the right-wing extremism groups like the white supremacists, which occurs inside the country, are the groups which the Homeland security wants to deal with to reduce their activities.

The right-wing terrorist groups, especially the white supremacy, are a threat to peace and U.S internal security. They use illegal firearms in shooting people in public, whereas others use other weapons to kill innocent citizens who are against their beliefs or of a different race from them. Now that the Department of the Homeland Security is entitled to prevent terrorists from using the weapons, they are involved in the attacks carried out by the white supremacists like the one that claimed lives of 22 innocent citizens in a Walmart store in El Paso, carried out by a white man who targeted Hispanics.

Policies and Practices Regarding Terrorist Attack and Groups by the Homeland Security

The Department of the Homeland Security is putting a lot of efforts in confronting the evolving terrorist attacks from the domestic actors who are inspired by extremist ideologies to plot terrorist attacks inside the U.S. The department has developed new approaches and strategies that provide the best approach in the prevention of the terrorist attacks, especially the one caused by U.S citizens who are immersed in white supremacy (DHS, 2019). As a strategy, the department has supported and integrated the efforts of different government levels such as the federal, state, and local governments together with the private sector, tribal, and territorial partners to share intelligence and information together with resources to counter-terrorism caused by the white supremacy.

The strategy of countering terrorism by the department is intended to implement the National Security Strategy formulated in 2017 at the White House and the National Strategy Counterterrorism of 2018 (DHS, 2019). One of the practice or action that has been laid down by the department is development if the annual state of threat evaluation in the homeland through coordination with other security agencies likes the FBI. The assessment is done to understand the threat environment, which then enables anticipating emerging and future threats. The department also has put in place strategies to detect any kind of anomalies and provision of early terrorist warnings and then improve sharing of information with other security agents who will help in addressing attacks in their jurisdictions.

Another important practice is strengthening resistance by society members against extremism as individuals can recognize signs of radicalization concerning violent extremism, which is within some society members (DHS, 2019). The department can make this possible by forming partners who support locally-based prevention, then build trust via exercises and engagement, then increase local awareness of violent mobilization and extremism.


In conclusion, the recent and continuing terrorism threat and attacks are mostly a result of violent extremism from the right-wing extremist groups, specifically the white supremacy, which its members have launched several attacks such as the El Paso shooting of 2019. The white supremacy groups have raised concerns in the Department of Homeland Security as the attacks are acts of terrorism that are inspired by foreign actors and the violent right-wing extremism. The department has implemented various strategies and policies that help prevent all terrorism actions, especially those that are passed by the white supremacists.


Beckman, J. (2013). Comparative legal approaches to homeland security and anti-terrorism. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Bell, K. M. (2018). By Any Other Name: Media and White-Supremacist Terrorism in the Trump Era. In the Trump presidency, journalism, and democracy (pp. 118-139). Routledge.

Clark, S. (2019). Confronting the domestic right-win...

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U.S. Faces Evolving Terror Threat: 17 Years After Homeland Security - Essay Sample. (2023, Aug 21). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/us-faces-evolving-terror-threat-17-years-after-homeland-security-essay-sample

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