When most people think of terrorism, they often conjure images of Islamic extremists huddled in far-away caves plotting intricate plots to harm non-believers of their faith.
But since Sept. 11, a new face of terrorism has emerged: the right-wing extremist. White supremacists, anti-government crusaders and other extremist groups have killed nearly twice as many people during that time than radical Muslims in the U.S., according to a report by New America, a Washington research center. Non-Muslim extremists killed 48 people in the U.S. while Jihadists claimed 26 lives.
Last week’s massacre of nine African-Americans in a Charleston, South Carolina, church was a particularly heinous crime reflective of the wave of hate-motivated violence echoing across the country.
“Law enforcement agencies around the country have told us the threat from Muslim extremists is not as great as the threat from right-wing extremists,” one of the researchers, Charles Kurzman, told the New York Times.
The study found that these homegrown extremists were largely white males who used personal firearms a majority of the time to carry out their attacks.
“On a federal level there is no agency that is working specifically on domestic terrorist threats, almost all of them are looking at foreign-oriented threat,” Ryan Lenz, a writer at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told Vice News.