Domestic Terrorism: A More Urgent Threat, But Weaker Laws

This article originally appeared in ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

“It’s difficult when you have a group doing protected First Amendment activity." Funny…it didn’t seem so ‘difficult’ when the tear gas and rubber bullets were flying last summer so Donnie could walk to the Church and hold his Bible upside down…I guess ‘right to assemble’ isn’t quite up there with ‘freedom of speech’??? Or is it something else?


One thing not getting much coverage is what the aftermath of that riot would have looked like if the folks running the District of Columbia hadn’t told the NRA to fuck off. If concealed carry was legal in DC. That place would have looked like Gettysburg when it was over. Thank God some folks have the courage to do what’s right even if shakers and bakers are against it.


Speaking as an ex-school teacher, angry parents always blame the teacher and those other kids when the child behaves like a feral asshole. To do otherwise would be an admission of non-exceptionalism.


Domestic Terrorism?

Seems like a black or white issue to me…


I have seen at least one article this morning reporting that some in the highest parts of Federal Law Enforcement may have been in cahoots with the Trump insurrection and that is why the Capitol wasn’t properly defended. If that is true those people need to be ferreted out and charged.


I see what you did there…


Writing stronger laws shouldn’t be rushed. I can foresee another Trump like President using these stronger laws to go after participants in the Women’s March, and other protest marches.


This article contains some of the best ass-covering I have seen in quite a while. I think the world class covering of asses is yet to come when they stop looking at line officers and look up the chain of command.


I don’t think we need new laws against domestic terrorism. There is too much risk of their use by a more competent Trump-like authoritarian President against Democrats/Progressives.

Instead, we need prosecutors who won’t get intimidated from pursuing violations of existing laws by rightwingers/conservatives. As we’ve seen both this week and over the past four years, they violate the law openly because they assume they won’t be held accountable. We already have the tools, we just need the will to act.


Exhaustive piece omitting the glaring truth of America and its institutions: Racist to the bone.


If it is found that any of the rioters were acting in connection with a foreign power (Russia?) can treason be added to the shopping list?


Now that the dust has been settling one thing that really stands out to me is the lack of the militias and Proud Boys in the rioting. This was really a QAnon riot, all these people that keep getting identified are QAnon followers, not the anti-government militias.

Most of the major militias in the last few weeks have posted public letters of their intent to wage a guerrilla war and called all democrats the ‘enemy’. And yet even though the Oath Keepers, who have called for an insurrection and the arrest of all Dem politicians and claimed to have massive weapons caches in VA, were in D.C. providing ‘security’ for the rally’s attendees. They where very absent from the one event they have been screaming for, for weeks. Likewise the Proud Boys who were out on Tuesday night trying to get into fights, didn’t show up to the big fight of the day.

I guess as shocking as the evens of Wed were, it really was just a rabble of frothing a the mouth QAnon idiots, So I fear the real violence we’ll have to deal with is gonna be when the more ‘professionally violent’ anti-democratic people decide to commit.


Domestic Terrorism: A More Urgent Threat, But Weaker Laws

Not wholly true… If the terrorists are people of color then the laws are quite robust.


The Biden DoJ and Congress are going to have to investigate right wing terrorism in the US and develop legal solutions, as well as prosecute them in court. Obama’s DoJ retreated after they released a report from the Bush administration about the problem, and I’m sure we’ll have the same reaction from the right wingers when the process starts…but not doing anything before resulted in Republicans encouraging the rise of these terrorists and the invasion of the US Capitol. The same mistake can’t be made again.


This wasn’t domestic terrorism. This was a coordinated coup attempt that failed. Call it what it is, remove and prosecute Trump and his enablers, and root out the people in DOD that were helping out.

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As long as we have stochastic terrorists spouting lies over television and the internet, we are going to have a lot of weak-minded individuals who will embrace whatever phony cause of the week they drum up.

How many deaths are Rush, Billo, Sean and their ilk already responsible for? How many ruined lives of innocent people (thinking of the Sandy Hook parents) are too many for the likes of an Alex Jones?

Smarter people than me have to figure out how to make a distinction between the absolute freedom to speak your mind versus the freedom to spew incendiary lies to millions of people simultaneously.


Good to know the FBI is doing favors for right-wing terrorist wannabes by warning them. Meanwhile if you are an Islamic wannabe the FBI will steer you along until they have enough incriminating evidence to send you to supermax.


I think this is mostly right except it also provides a model more skilled terrorists can use when they decide its time for hostage-taking, murder and mayhem. IOW, I think that’s why we saw proud boys et al participating in the rally but not in the break-in; it was a test case for them.

ETA: “test case” was a reference to the model, not to the issue of hostage-taking, murder and mayhem; those were absolutely on the mob’s agenda and included the assassination of VP Pence; e.g.,

ETA2: They Were Out for Blood

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I think we need to wait for more evidence before people can say there was an organized plot for a coup. The really easy explanation is that security planners looked at the “white patriot” crowd and decided that they would never cause violence, while they expect it from any BLM protest no matter how minor. That horrific blind spot is enough to explain why there wasn’t the strong police force in place when they came down to the Capitol, or any real security around the rally.

Yes, they should have known better…I suspect there was also an element of “we don’t want to have people out there confronting Trump’s supporters” as paean to Trump. Which, fine, but then you have them prepared to go around the corner out of sight…that’s why I think the assumption that “white people don’t riot” was more critical to the thinking.

That’s the racism here, the militant response to any planned or random BLM/liberal protest compared to the lackadaisical planning for any white/conservative protest. We all know which group is actually more violent, but that hasn’t penetrated though the bias of the police yet. Maybe they learned a lesson…the police were completely overwhelmed almost everywhere, and at least most of them were fighting hard to try to hold the thousands back, even with the assumption some were armed, which wouldn’t have been necessary if they planned like they do for a BLM protest. What happened yesterday was way beyond anything that happened in all the protests all summer, even the actual riots (which weren’t BLM protestors).

We’ll have to see if anyone took advantage of that bias and poor planning (or instigated it) to try to undo Congress…there were most definitely elements in there that wanted to capture members of Congress (and then who knows what), but whether that was a small element or a part of a bigger plot is still unknown. Trump definitely wanted Congress to be blocked, so I’m sure he enjoyed the show, but that’s not enough to make it a conspiracy to overthrow the government. It is concerning, there are lots of questions, so we’ll see.

I’m just glad that it wasn’t worse…I can just imagine if they had captured someone like AOC and marched her out for a mock trial and execution on the Capitol steps, and I’m sure some people in the crowd would have been onboard and cheered if it happened. That’s what was really going on yesterday, and just what may be coming now that Trump is being shuffled out.