by Ben Johnson
WASHINGTON, D,C, July 5, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Two years after incensing pro-life conservatives and believers in limited government, the Department of Homeland Security has funded another report fingering anti-abortion groups, “fundamentalists,” and those “suspicious of centralized federal authority” as potential sources of terrorism.
The report, which seeks to analyze the regions of the U.S. most susceptible to terrorist attack, attributes the greatest share of violence over the last 40 years to “single issue” organizations, mentioning “anti-abortion” groups as the first of only four examples: “anti-abortion, anti-Catholic, anti-nuclear, anti-Castro.”
Brian Clowes, Director of Research for Human Life International was incensed with the report. “They are cherry picking,” he told LifeSiteNews. “They put in the anti-nukes as a sop when they’re really after the pro-lifers,” Clowes added. “What’s amazing is that unions are not mentioned at all in the report, when they’ve likely been responsible for more terrorist acts than all the listed single issue group examples combined.”
“Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008,” written by Gary LaFree and Bianca Bersani, concluded that single issue groups had perpetrated more atrocities over a longer period of time than “extreme left-wing,” “extreme right-wing,” “religious,” or “ethno-nationalist” terrorists.
“The most recent decade has been dominated by single issue attacks,” they wrote.
Aside from two references to “anti-abortion” protesters, other potential malefactors include conservatives, fundamentalists, marxists, and nationalist groups.
Possible terrorists aligned with the “extreme right-wing” are described as “nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.”
Its account of religious terrorists – a category broad enough to include Gary North with Osama bin Laden – warns against those who “seek to smite the purported enemies of God and other evildoers, impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists),” or “forcibly insert religion into the political sphere (e.g., those who seek to politicize religion, such as Christian Reconstructionists and Islamists).”
Beneath the seal of the DHS, the report states it was compiled to “aid the intelligence and law enforcement communities in identifying potential terrorist threats and support policymakers in developing prevention efforts.”
LeFree and Bersani drafted the paper for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland, which received an initial $12 million grant from DHS to carry out research on terrorism.
The researchers claim to have found zero religiously motivated terrorist attacks during the 1990s, a tally that appears to overlook the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, conducted by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s nephew.
Their assessment, published in late January, continues the Obama administration’s trend of downplaying Islamic extremism while emphasizing an alleged conservative, Christian, pro-life, and pro-marriage “terrorist threat.”
An April 2009 DHS report entitled “Rightwing [sic.] Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” identified “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” and opposition to same-sex “marriage” as “the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.” The DHS later pulled the report.
Yet DHS and FBI agents subsequently attended a terrorism training seminar on alleged pro-life terrorism, hosted by Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, and the Feminist Majority Foundation. After equating free speech with violence, organizers distributed a resource guide listing three pages of purportedly extremist websites such as Priests for Life, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Christian Broadcasting Network.
The same ideological assumptions extended to the previous Democratic administration. The Clinton-era Violence Against Abortion Providers Conspiracy (VAAPCON) program, which ran from 1994-96, compiled a vast database of information on pro-life activists as diverse as the late John Cardinal O’Connor of New York, Concerned Women for America, and Feminists for Life, assuming the right to life movement concealed a secret plan to murder abortionists. No such plot was uncovered.
Constitutional expert John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute has voiced concern the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) “would allow the military to show up at your door if you’re a ‘potential terrorist,’ and put you in military detention.”
The START study claims that during 40-year window it examined, single issue groups struck the greatest number of locations, 185 counties. Religious terrorism was “much less prevalent,” affecting only 26 counties.
LaFree concluded that “language diversity,” associated with polyglot regions, “evidences a strong and significant positive relationship with terrorist attacks and ordinary crime.” Comparing the variables for politically based terror with crime, they conclude “our research…does suggest that ethnic heterogeneity is significantly associated with the counties where terrorists attack.” Conversely, “residentially stable counties and those with a higher proportion of non-Hispanic white residents are less likely to experience both terrorist attacks and ordinary crime.”
The analysts hope to do further research into which foreign languages terrorists might tend to speak.