Forget ISIS and international terror, white supremacists pose highest threat to New Jersey, says bombshell report
According to the annual NJ Terrorism Assessment report, the state officials have made white supremacist extremism "high" from "moderate" as homegrown terror emerges as a major menace in the US
While successive American administrations have vowed to continue fighting terror since the 9/11 attacks, a report from the country's security officials has come up with a striking revelation.
According to the report, white supremacists have emerged as an increasing threat to New Jersey, even more than the Islamic State (IS) and anti-government extremists.
The annual New Jersey Terrorism Assessment report said that the state officials have raised the level of threat for white supremacist extremism from "moderate" to "high".
In the "high" section, homegrown violent extremists were the only other group that was listed besides white supremacist extremists. These types of extremists are those who are boosted by foreign terrorist groups rather than be directed.
Jared M Maples, director for the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJPHSP), was quoted by Daily Mail as saying: "Homeland security and law enforcement professionals at all levels have taken notice of the rise in activity from white supremacist extremists."
He added, "New Jersey is committed to protecting the diversity of culture and faith that shapes our great state."
He continued, "For that reason, NJOHSP increased the threat posed by white supremacist extremists from moderate to high in 2020, joining homegrown violent extremists as the most persistent hostile actors in New Jersey."
Islamic State was moved from 'moderate' to 'low'
International terror outfit like the IS was moved from the "moderate" to the "low" group since it has not launched any attack in the US, according to the report. Other groups like Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizballah, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and others were also in the "low" group.
Explaining the reason for the "promotion" of white supremacist extremists, the report said local incidents led to the change. It particularly highlighted the shooting at El Paso in August last year that left 22 dead and 24 injured.
According to a timeline of terrorism that took place in New Jersey, three incidents had links to white supremacy and involved plots to carry out the action, Daily Mail reported.
The report added that white supremacists will pose a high-level threat to the Garden State this year as "supporters of this ideology demonstrate their willingness and capability to carry out attacks, direct and inspire sympathizers online and attempt to network globally."
"In 2019, white supremacist extremists carried out four attacks and participated in at least 19 additional plots, threats of violence, and instances of weapons stockpiling."
The report added that white supremacists also increased their recruiting tactics in the area.
Propaganda distribution has gone up
Since January last year, 168 instances of white supremacist propaganda distribution have been reported and it marks a big leap from 46 in 2018. These distributions mostly take place in the form of flyers placed in public places.
The report also pointed out that white supremacists have been taking part in violent accelerationism as motivation for conducting such acts.
Black separatist extremists were put back into the "moderate" from "low" group and the move came in the wake of the firing on a Jewish community in Jersey City by an African-American couple that killed four.