DOD holds event about ‘rise of far-right terrorism’ in America: Report

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The Department of Defense recently held a staff event discussing the “rise of far-right terrorism” in America, according to a Tuesday report by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The DCNF revealed that the Pentagon launched a new “brown bag events” series featuring both internal and guest speakers. An email invitation obtained by the outlet appeared to invite “all” staff with the DOD’s Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict office, also known as the SO/LIC.

Bruce Hoffman, a professor at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Jacob Ware, a research fellow at the CFR, were invited by the Pentagon to discuss their book titled “God, Guns, and Sedition: Far-Right Terrorism in America.”

“Reminder to please join us at 1200 tomorrow morning via Teams (link below) for this virtual brown bag book talk event — renowned terrorism scholars Dr. Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware,” read the invitation obtained by DCNF.

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“This is the first of what we hope will be a series of brown bag events featuring internal and external speakers,” it continued. “This talk, derived from the speakers’ new book, God, Guns, and Sedition (Columbia Univ. Press) discusses the rise of far-right terrorism in the United States, the impact of U.S. domestic terrorism on our foreign policy and our allies, and policy recommendations to counter far-right terrorism.”

The email invitation included information about the book and a link to the authors’ biographies.

A description of the book on the CFR’s website states, “Shocking acts of terrorism have erupted from violent American far-right extremists in recent years, including the 2015 mass murder at a historic Black church in Charleston and the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. These incidents, however, are neither novel nor unprecedented. They are the latest flashpoints in a process that has been unfolding for decades, in which vast conspiracy theories and radical ideologies such as white supremacism, racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, and hostility to government converge into a deadly threat to democracy.”

The recently released book purports to account for the “rise of far-right terrorism in the United States — and how to counter it.” During a podcast interview in early January, Hoffman defined and explained “far-right terrorism.”

“One of the challenges we had in researching the book is we’re talking about a vast movement with many different constituent parts, not a hierarchical single organization, and that’s been part of the movement’s strength is that it is consistently over decades, one could argue over a century and a half, has sought to appeal to an increasingly diverse constituency. You have the Ku Klux Klan types, racists, anti-Semites, xenophobes, anti-LGBTQ, and so on,” Hoffman stated. “We’re talking about people that are militantly opposed to paying federal income tax, that militant zealous adherence to the Second Amendment, that believe that there is an ongoing attempt by the federal government to seize their arms. So a diverse array of people, conspiracy theorists, militant, anti-globalists, and so on that come together to comprise this movement.”

It is unclear who approved the book discussion event, the DCNF reported. The outlet noted that domestic terrorism is outside the DOD’s purview. Neither the DOD, Hoffman, nor Ware responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment regarding the event.

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