All three drafts reviewed by Politico warn that white supremacists represent an even greater threat than violence from foreign terrorist groups.
None of the drafts reviewed by Politico mentioned any threat from antifa, the anti-fascist movement that President Donald Trump has repeatedly characterized as a pressing danger.
The first draft had the strongest language regarding white supremacists, according to Politico. It said that among “lone offenders and small cells of individuals,” the department has concluded that “white supremacist extremists – who increasingly are networking with like-minded persons abroad – will pose the most persistent and lethal threat.”
The two subsequent drafts also stated that “white supremacist extremists will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland through 2021.”
The drafts note that 2019 was the deadliest year for domestic violent extremists since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
John Cohen, the department’s counterterrorism coordinator from 2011 to 2014, told Politico that the DHS conclusion isn’t surprising.
“This draft document seems to be consistent with earlier intelligence reports from DHS, the FBI, and other law enforcement sources: That the most significant terror-related threat facing the US today comes from violent extremists who are motivated by white supremacy and other far-right ideological causes,” he said.
As for threats from elsewhere, Russia reportedly tops the list of DHS concerns.
Russia “probably will be the primary covert foreign influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation in the Homeland,” the drafts state, according to Politico.
Read the entire Politico story here.