As government agencies increasingly turn their attention to “homegrown terrorism,” it’s important to note who’s being targeted and who isn’t. Reuters reported this week that President Trump might be refocusing the federal “Countering Violent Extremism” program, which deploys resources for monitoring groups such as white supremacists and militias, into a program that focuses solely on acts of terror committed by Muslims. The Southern Poverty Law Center says this would be a bad idea.
“In recent years, we’ve seen a series of deadly terrorist attacks from homegrown extremists inspired by white supremacist or antigovernment ideologies, such as the massacre at the Charleston church in 2015,” writes Heidi Beirich, director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project. “But now it appears that President Trump wants the government to stop its efforts to prevent terrorism by far-right extremists. This is dangerous and unacceptable.”