DEBUNKED: Right Wing Terrorists Kill More Americans than Jihadists

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The Claim:

“Right-Wing extremists are a bigger threat to America than jihadists. Since 2002, right-wing militants have killed more people in the United states than jihadist have.”

Examples:  (Here)(here)(here)

The Rebuttal:

  • First: this claim is now factually incorrect and based on outdated data. The evidence usually cited is a  New America Foundation study, but the most frequently referenced articles sourcing this study are from June 2015, which was before Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife murdered 14 people in San Bernardino, and Omar Mateen killed 49 in an Orlando Night Club. The current New America Foundation figures have been updated to show 95 Americans killed by jihadists since 2002, nearly twice as many as the 53 killings the foundation attributes to the “far right wing.”
  • Second: the period from 2002 to 2015 is cherry-picked. It conveniently begins after 2,996 people were murdered on 9/11, and, sadly, covers a time period which seems to have been a lull in jihadi terrorism on US soil between when the U.S. global war on terror began degrading Al Qaeda and the occupation of Iraq provided more tempting targets in the middle east, and before ISIS began intensive online recruitment of lone wolf attackers.
  • Third: “right wing extremists” is not a useful categorization except to score political points, as in this case “right wing extremists” includes white supremacists, anti-federalists and anti-abortion christian fundamentalists, groups that have almost nothing in common ideologically and in many cases are hostile to each other. This is not an apples to apples comparison. This is an apples to fruit bowl comparison. The only purpose in lumping such groups together is an attempt to create the appearance of a terrorist threat more deadly than that of Islamist, although due to the recent ISIS-inspired attacks, even this fails.
  • Finally:  any comparison of the propensity of different demographics  to commit acts of murderous terror must account for the different population numbers by reporting on on a per-capita basis. Since Muslims make up about 1% of the US population, this HIGHLY disproportionate amount of terrorist slaughter caused by Muslims  is especially damning.

For Further Study:

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