HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » I Spent 25 Years Fighting...

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 12:47 PM

I Spent 25 Years Fighting Jihadis. White Supremacists Aren't So Different

By Ali H. Soufan
Mr. Soufan is a former F.B.I. special agent and the author of “Anatomy of Terror.”

When a young Muslim man, self-radicalized online, kills in the name of Islamist ideology, we have no trouble calling him a terrorist and connecting him with groups like ISIS. When a young white man, similarly self-radicalized, kills in the name of racist ideology — even when he publishes a manifesto to that effect — we tend to call him disturbed. We speak about him as a troubled loner, rather than a member of a wider network.

The disparities are not limited to cultural perceptions. America’s law enforcement agencies, intelligence community and court system all treat these two scenarios differently. Those differences in treatment mask instructive similarities between these two forms of organized hate. Having spent almost 25 years fighting jihadi terrorism here and abroad, I see disturbing parallels between the rise of Al Qaeda in the 1990s and that of racist terrorism today.

White supremacists, like their Islamist counterparts, explicitly seek to use violence to create a climate of fear and chaos that can then be exploited to reshape society in their own image. Their recruitment videos share an emphasis on the lifestyle they purport to offer recruits — one of “purity,” militancy and physical fitness. While jihadis share beheading videos, right-wing extremists glory in the live streaming of the deadly attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. While Islamic State supporters communicate through an online platform called Telegram, white supremacists tend to do so through another platform, 8chan.

One group for neo-Nazis, founded by a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, has taken the analogy to its logical conclusion, calling itself “The Base” — a direct translation of the meaning of the word Al Qaeda. The organization also uses similar black flag imagery. The Base maintains an online library of terrorist manuals; the Al Qaeda publication Inspire taught the Boston bombers how to build pressure-cooker explosives.


2 replies, 752 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 2 replies Author Time Post
Reply I Spent 25 Years Fighting Jihadis. White Supremacists Aren't So Different (Original post)
octoberlib Aug 2019 OP
Coventina Aug 2019 #1
octoberlib Aug 2019 #2

Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 12:51 PM

1. I highly recommend his book, "The Black Banners"

It is riveting and enlightening.

As a Muslim and LEO, his take is very educational for the rest of us.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Coventina (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 12:53 PM

2. Thanks for the recommendation. Always looking for good , informative books to read.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread