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Terrorism Comes in Many Sizes

June 25, 2015
Plain English Version

Sept-11-crash-4_1987458iSeptember 11, 2001, was a turning point in the United States. That was the date of the Muslim attack on New York’s World Trade Center. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attack. The health of thousands more people were put at risk.

Most people came to believe that Muslim jihadists were the most dangerous threats. The United States attacked Afghanistan and Iraq to stop the threat of terrorism in this country. Most people believed that the U.S. had to do something.

Radical Muslims extremists are generally considered to be “terrorists.” Their terrorism tends to be rooted in their ideology. Networks were set up to keep track of them.

Law enforcement also pay attention to domestic groups who present threats to the homeland. Such groups include white, anti-government fanatics and racial extremists.

The shooter in Charlston, South Carolina was a 21-year old racist.

A new study has surprising findings. The study found that white extremists committed most of the murders considered to be terrorist in nature. Islamic militants committed seven shootings compared with 19 shootings by white extremists. The number of deaths is shown in the chart.


Before the World Trade Center, the worst attack took place in Oklahoma in 1995. It was the work of a white extremist named Timothy McVeigh. The explosion killed 168 people, including 19 children. He was later executed.

Observers note that attacks by Islamic terrorists are regarded as political in nature. However, many shootings by domestic killers have no political basis. Rather, some attacks by domestic whites are thought to be the work of deranged people.

Many shootings by whites have no political cause. The horrible shooting in the school in Sandy Hook, Conn. and the shooting in the movie theater in Aurora, Col. are examples. They were clearly the work of psychopaths.

An expert noted the threat from jihadists is not the only threat. The danger posed by right-wing, antigovernment fanatics is also real.

The lesson to be learned is that hatred lies behind acts of terrorism. Whether the hatred is caused by religion or racism, it is a danger to all of us.

Source: The New York Times June 24, 2015


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