While anarchists and religious extremists inspired by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda also could pose serious threats, the greatest danger will likely be from the far right, said a report released June 17 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.
“Right-wing terrorism has significantly outpaced terrorism from other types of perpetrators,” the report said. “Right-wing attacks and plots account for the majority of all terrorist incidents in the United States since 1994, and the total number of right-wing attacks and plots has grown significantly during the past six years.”
Such growth has not been seen since the buildup to the Oklahoma City bombing in the 1990s, said the report, “The Escalating Terrorism Problem in the United States.”
In 2019, it said, right-wing extremists committed two-thirds of the terrorist attacks and plots in the U.S. And from Jan. 1 to May 8 of this year, more than 90 percent of the attacks were committed by right-wing extremists.
Incidents of terrorism will likely increase over the next year in response to several factors, including the upcoming presidential election, the coronavirus pandemic and protests over the killing of George Floyd, the report said.
“These factors are not the cause of terrorism, but they are events and developments likely to fuel anger and be co-opted by a small minority of extremists as a pretext for violence,” it said.