Types of Domestic Terrorist Organizations in the United States

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Domestic terrorism in the United States can be dated back to 1865 with the organization of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the South following the Civil War, when white supremacist used violence to intimidate and harm African Americans and supporters of the freed slaves. The organization was labeled a terrorist organization and outlawed in 1871, however small groups still exist today. (Zalman, 2011) The 1920’s saw a short spike in domestic terrorist attacks from Anarchist and the KKK. However, few incidents of domestic terrorism existed until the 1960’s when groups such as the Black Panthers and the Weathermen (aka The Weather Underground) formed, and the attacks have continued to grow over the years with incidents such as bombings of federal and other government buildings, military bases, Olympic stadiums, corporation facilities, and doctor’s offices. The FBI defines domestic terror as “the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives”. (FBI, 2005)

Today the FBI lists five types of domestic terrorist, the first being the lone wolf, also known as lone offender or lone ranger. Terrorist groups may inspire a lone wolf but they are a single individual that acts on his or her own without the support of organized terrorist groups. When speaking about terrorism and the threats of attacks that concerned many citizens as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approached, Vice President Biden stated that the lone ranger can be more dangerous because...

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...N. Retrieved from http://whitehouse.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/09/vice-president-biden-does-network-morning-shows/

Anti-Defamation League. (2005). Extremism in America. Retrieved from http://www.adl.org/learn/ext_us/

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (September 7, 2009). Domestic Terrorism: In the Post 9/11 Era. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2009/september/domterror_090709

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2005). Terrorism 2002-2005. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terrorism-2002-2005/terror02_05.pdf

Gray, Steven. (March 29, 2010). A New Name in American Paranoia: Hutaree. Time Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1977136,00.html

Zalman, Amy Ph.D. (2011). A Guide to Terrorism in America. Retrieved from http://terrorism.about.com/od/originshistory/a/US_Terrorism_2.htm?p=1

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