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‘Politicization of national security threats’ hurts law enforcement efforts to interdict, CSUSB professor says
June 19, 2020
Brian Levin, executive director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino, was quoted in an article that said Washington, D.C., is "likely an attractive target" for the boogaloo movement and other groups, according to an intelligence assessment from the National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium.
Part of the article discussed the Trump administration’s allegation that the left-wing extremist movement, Antifa, was responsible for much of the violence surrounding recent protests, “while refusing to specifically identify and denounce the far-right groups like boogaloo that have been charged in recent weeks for acts ranging from felony murder to terrorism,” the article said.
Levin said the center’s research shows there have been 27 homicides connected to far-right extremists in the U.S. since 2019, with none connected to the far left since at least 2016. White supremacists, he added, continue to pose the “most ascendent and prominent threat,” Levin said.
But the changing organizational nature and rapid spread of far-right extremism, which is bolstered by conspiracy theories and stressors during an already volatile election year, can make it difficult for police to interdict.
“The politicization of national security threats is retrograde and hurting our response,” Levin said. “We’re not seeing this level of violence now from the left because these extremist movements respond to inertia from the mainstream. The hard right hangs on Trump’s every word. And even in ambiguity, they see support.”
Read the complete article at “Intel report warns that far-right extremists may target Washington, D.C.”
CSUSB professor quoted in article about DHS’ designation of ‘Boogaloo’ movement’s adherents
June 22, 2020
The online publication followed up on the June 19 Politico report about Washington, D.C., being a target of the right-wing extremist “Boogaloo” movement and other groups, saying that federal Homeland Security officials classified the “Boogaloo” movements adherents as being extremists from both ends of the political spectrum.
Yet, far-right extremists have been tied to 27 homicides since 2019, versus zero for the far left since at least 2016, said Brian Levin, executive director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. Other recent reports have found similar disparities.
Read the complete article at “Homeland Security Department claims 'boogaloo' extremists aren't right-wing, attacks press in weekend tweet.”
App that can ID extremists’ symbols can be helpful to researchers, journalists, CSUSB professor says
June 20, 2020
VizPol, an app developed by Colombia University researchers, can help journalists spot far-right and white supremacist symbols like Odal rune tattoos and boogaloo igloo flags, as well as those used by left-wing Antifa extremists, the news site reported.
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, said the app will help journalists and researchers, even if it faces tricky issues, such as wrongly identifying or failing to identify a symbol. If the automation works, it will help journalists and researchers keep up with symbols that are changing at internet speed.
"Memes and symbols are constantly being co-opted, regurgitated and abandoned by extremists," Levin said.
Read the complete article at “What does that tattoo mean? AI app decodes extremist political symbols.”
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