For the first time in the history of America, the country has now categorized white nationalism as a threat to the Department of Homeland Security. Kevin McAleenan, the secretary of the DHS stated that recent mass shootings are what “galvanized the Department of Homeland Security to expand its counterterrorism mission focus beyond terrorists operating aboard, to include those radicalized to violence within our borders by violent extremists of any ideology.”
McAleenan explained how the spike is white nationalism is correlated to the internet and the platforms that these individuals use to share hate. “Similar to how ISIS inspired and connected with potential radical Islamist terrorists, white supremacist violent extremists connect with like-minded individuals online,” a report stated, Complex.
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“In addition to mainstream social media platforms, white supremacist violent extremists use lesser-known sites like Gab, 8chan, and EndChan, as well as encrypted channels. Celebration of violence and conspiracy theories about the ‘ethnic replacement’ of whites as the majority ethnicity in various Western countries are prominent in their online circles.”
The DHS has provided a strategic framework to combat the issue in the country and believes the first step is awareness becasue “an aware society is the best foundation for preventing terrorism and targeted violence.”