The Department of Homeland Security has a lot on their hands lately. It seems as if some days they don’t know where to look first when dealing with a variety of threats. Whether it’s al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram or sympathizers for any of a variety of terrorists groups, they are dealing with a dangerous world. But for some reason, CNN reports that the big threat this year is probably… sovereign citizens.
On second thought, maybe that whole defunding the DHS thing isn’t looking that bad.
A new intelligence assessment, circulated by the Department of Homeland Security this month and reviewed by CNN, focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists and comes as the Obama administration holds a White House conference to focus efforts to fight violent extremism.
Some federal and local law enforcement groups view the domestic terror threat from sovereign citizen groups as equal to — and in some cases greater than — the threat from foreign Islamic terror groups, such as ISIS, that garner more public attention.
The Homeland Security report, produced in coordination with the FBI, counts 24 violent sovereign citizen-related attacks across the U.S. since 2010.
24 attacks in the last five years is 24 too many, as I’m sure we can all agree. But we should also put things in perspective. Islamic terrorists can pull off that many in a week without breaking too much of a sweat. They make no secret of their intentions, but you always have to be on the lookout for who might be helping them on the home front.
But if it’s domestic threats that we’re worrying about, is this really the top trophy to go after? In 2012 (the last year of full records) there were 500 gang killings in Chicago alone. For those of you keeping score at home, unlike the 24 in the last five years racked up by the “sovereign citizens” brigade, that’s more than 28 every three weeks. In New York, youth gangs commit an estimated 40% of the shootings each year, and while the Big Apple has done an admirable job of bringing their murder rate down for several years now, that’s still a lot of lead flying through the air. I could go through the numbers for the other cities, but you get the point.
It goes beyond that, though. We have parades of people marching down the streets calling for the murder of cops. That’s not single point violence… it’s mayhem on a cultural scale which seeks to tear down the fabric of civilization. And if that’s not enough, if you take a tour of the more southwest regions, massively well funded, heavily armed and well organized drug cartels make regular forays into our nation dealing death and destruction on a daily basis. Math may not be my strong suit in terms of placing things in order of importance, but that seems fairly serious.
But… hey. 24 attacks in five years is pretty bad too, so you get right on that.