The war on terror shifts its focus
It’s appropriate that the United States is now officially backing Al-Qaeda fighters in Syria given the fact that the primary focus of the war on terror has been shifted away from Muslim extremists and re-aligned to target politically active, conservative and libertarian Americans.
The latest salvo comes in the form of an ABC Studios drama which demonizes a Texas militia group as dangerous right-wing extremists, lifting its story from last year’s arrest of Hutaree militia members in Michigan who despite being charged with planning to kill police officers were later acquitted.
As we have documented, under the Obama administration, the characterization of Americans who distrust big government and adhere to constitutionalist principles as domestic extremists or even terrorists has accelerated.
The most recent example was a study funded by the Department of Homeland Security which characterized Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.
Entitled Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970-2008 (PDF), the study was produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland. The organization was launched with the aid of DHS funding to the tune of $12 million dollars.
While largely omitting Islamic terrorism – the report fails completely to mention the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – the study focuses on Americans who hold beliefs shared by the vast majority of conservatives and libertarians and puts them in the context of radical extremism.