By Andre SELSKY, The Associated Press
2016 acquisition of a federal bird sanctuary by right-wing extremists Oregon. 1992 standoff between white separatists and federal agents at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. A federal building bombed in 1995 Oklahoma City in which 168 people died.
Right-wing extremism has previously played for the most part in isolated parts of America and its small towns. The deadly attacks by rioters on the US Capitol, by contrast, targeted the very heart of the government.
And it brought together large numbers of members from different groups, giving extremists an opportunity to establish relations with each other.
One expert says that sets the stage for potentially more violent action.
“The events themselves, and their involvement, are a radical influence. And they also have an inspiring influence. The Battle of Capitol Hill is now part of the legend,” Brian Michael Jenkins, a counter-terrorism expert and senior adviser to the president of the RAND Corporation think tank he said.
Mary McCord, the former US Assistant Attorney General for National Security, said the atmosphere for rebellion was building during the Trump presidency.
He cited the 2017 “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia COVID-19 Aggressive demonstration on the people of the state by armed protesters on railing against public health protection orders, mass shootings by people motivated by hatred and killing of a person.
“Everyone led the moment,” said McCord, a visiting law professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors American extremists, has recorded a 55% increase in the number of white nationalist hate groups since 2017.
Those participating in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol were sworn members, who often recruit current and former military, police, or other first responders; The Proud Boys Neo-Fascist Group; Followers of QAnon, who spread bizarre conspiracy theories; Racist and anti-Jewish; And others with devotion to the then President Donald Trump.
“January 6 was like an angry Woodstock,” Jenkins said in an interview. “The mere fact that the groups were coming together, having intercourse, sharing this anger, displaying this passion – it’s going to have an impact.”
But what happens next? Will January 6 be a high-water mark for right-wing extremists, or lead to other attacks on America’s democracy?
Right now, the movement – if it can be said that – stops.
Armed protests in all 50 state capitals and Washington were planned last week that the FBI issued a nationwide warning about attracting almost all of them. This may indicate that the groups have collapsed, at least temporarily.
Donald Trump is no longer president and his social media reach has been severely curtailed, with Twitter banned him. The extremists came together in Washington on January 6 because of their belief in Trump’s lies stolen in the presidential election, and in response to Trump’s tweet announcement that the protest in Washington would be “wild.”
But now, some are visibly annoyed that Trump disassociated himself with the very rebellion he stole. He is upset that he failed to come to the rescue of the rioters who were arrested while he was still president and were detained and charged.
Online, some people associated with the Proud Boys who believe Trude appear to dump him.
A Telegram channel associated with the group said that Trump had made no apologies for the middle-class whites who risked their livelihoods by going into ‘war’ for Trump despite many apologies.
Another posting on the channel stated: “I can’t wait to see the GOP in its entirety. From the ashes, a true nationalist movement will arise. “
Believers at QAnon are operating a child sex trafficking ring after Trump left office, without fulfilling his unbridled belief that he would win an alleged cabine of devil devising cannibals.
Among them was Ron Watkins, who helps run an online messaging board about QAnon conspiracy theories.
“We gave it our all. Now we need to allay our worries and bring our lives back because whoever we are is able, ”Whitkins wrote on Telegram after President Joe Biden was sworn in and Trump flew Florida.
Jenkins said the next phase for extremist groups and those who see Trump as a savior could turn into a broader national movement in which factions coordinate and combine their assets.
Or widespread condemnation of the rebellion may cause the movement to subside, leaving more determined elements out on their own and launching attacks.
Jenkins recalled the 1970s, when some anti-Vietnam militants worked hard at the Weather Underground, which carried out a bombing campaign. The targeted locations were the US Capitol and the Pentagon, but there were only three militants who died that accidentally blew themselves up.
“I think that looking at the events of this past year, and especially what we’ve seen in the last few months, is bringing us into new territory,” Jenkins said. “
Associated Press writers Amanda Seitz in Chicago and Garens Burke in San Francisco contributed to this report.
Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky
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