US wakes up to threat of domestic terrorism from homegrown extremists

WASHINGTON: The United States’ « war on terror » may have come home to roost — domestically. Apparently it was always at home, in plain sight, but a nation that for decades issued terror alerts across the world and fought terrorism in distant lands has just woken up to extremism and militancy at home.
In an unprecedented development, the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday used a federal alert system to issue a national terrorism advisory, warning of domestic terrorist threat by politically motivated extremists « fueled by false narratives. »
The alert has taken on a political and ideological hue, with the newly-elected Democratic administration and liberal lawmakers taking aim at far right Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, who they accuse of fomenting an insurrection against the government by domestic terror groups.
In another extraordinary move, a Democratic lawmaker moved a resolution in the House of Representatives seeking expulsion of Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, accusing her of supporting death threats against leading Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Greene, elected for the first time from Georgia, is a known Qanon conspiracy theorist who believes the 9/11 terror attack and a school shooting in Florida that killed 17 kids were staged inside jobs. In recent days the media has unearthed some of her social media posts — several now deleted — approving violence against Democrats. In one Facebook post from 2018, Greene replied to a supporter who asked how they can “hang” former President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying the “stage” was being “set” and that it would need to be done “perfectly.” She also liked a comment from 2019 that a “bullet to the head would be quicker” than an election for removing Pelosi from office.
“Such advocacy for extremism and sedition not only demands her immediate expulsion from Congress, but it also merits strong and clear condemnation from all of her Republican colleagues. Her very presence in office represents a direct threat against the elected officials and staff who serve our government, and it is with their safety in mind, as well as the security of institutions and public servants across our country, that I call on my House colleagues to support my resolution to immediately remove Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from this legislative body, » California lawmaker Jimmy Gomes said while introducing the legislation.
Greene is also unapologetic about the storming of the Capitol which many commentators have described as an insurrection and others have likened to radical Christian terrorism. Among other controversial stances, she has said two Democratic lawmakers of Muslim faith were « illegitimate » because they took their oaths of office on the Quran instead of the Bible and Muslims should not serve in the US government. At least three Democratic lawmakers, Tulsi Gabbard, Pramila Jayapal, and Raja Krishnamoorthi, took oath on the Bhagavad Gita in the last Congress.
Democrats and moderate Republicans are going after Trump loyalists like Greene (who has Trump’s support) even as many GOP lawmakers who initially appeared to peel away from the former President are making a beeline to him in Florida after realising their political future will be in jeopardy if they support the move to impeach him.
The draw of the so-called « Trump cult » has outraged many lawmakers and commentators still rattled by the extremist attack on the Capitol.
« Republicans in the Senate want us to forget about the fact that people were bludgeoned in the head with an American flag because of Donald Trump…The reason why the cop killer beat the cop to death is because they were inspired by Donald Trump to do so,” Joe Scarborough, a former Republican lawmaker who is now co-host of a show on MSNBC News, said, adding, “You know what these people are — Trump terrorists … call them by their name. »
Democrats are accusing Republicans of paying lip service about bringing extremists in the GOP to heel, saying the Republican Party itself is becoming extremist. « Republican members of Congress don’t want consequences for white supremacy or insurrection against the United States because their political strategy is to embrace white supremacists and the scepter of the Confederacy to get power in the first place, » New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez said.

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