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Why Isn’t There a Domestic War on Terror in the U.S.?

May 25, 2022
Rebecca Best


In analysis for Political Violence At A Glance, an IGCC-supported blog dedicated to political violence and its alternatives, Rebecca Best, an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, explains H.R. 350, Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022, and the effects it would have on policing if passed.

The US State Department appears on the verge of removing five organizations from its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). None of the groups have been active in terrorism since 2018, and two—the far-right Israeli group Kahane Chai and the Islamist al-Jama’a al-Islamiya—have been inactive for more than fifteen years.

Meanwhile, last weekend a domestic terrorist killed ten people in a Buffalo, New York supermarket, adding to the growing number of recent right-wing extremist attacks targeting Black Americans and other racial minorities. In the days following the attack in Buffalo, the US House passed legislation to require the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to produce a joint report twice a year on domestic terror threats and focus their resources primarily on those groups associated with the greatest number of incidents. It’s unclear that the bill can pass the Senate, but even if it does, substantial differences in the ways the US polices domestic and international terrorists will remain. Why is the US government hesitant to police domestic terrorism as such while waging a Global War on Terrorism?

Read the full blog post at Political Violence At A Glance.