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Article by: Dr. Liram Koblenzt-Stenzler, and Alexander Pack
The purpose of this article is to alert others about a new phenomenon occurring in the United States. Far-right actors, specifically those in the white supremacist segment of the far-right, are attempting to leverage Trump supporters’ anger and resentment by engaging in a coordinated effort to spread their message and target radicalization efforts. This article will demonstrate how these activists are attempting to disseminate propaganda in cyberspace by intensifying the feeling of victimhood felt by Trump supporters. To increase this sense of victimhood, far-right actors are using two primary themes. First, they have attempted to intensify the belief that the 2020 elections were fraudulent, and that the election was stolen from President Trump. Second, they are producing content to highlight the differences in law enforcement agencies’ responses to the events on January 6 compared to the response of the same security services to the events following the murder of George Floyd.
Far-right actors view this as an opportunity to increase their influence and radicalize individuals. In the past, such radicalization efforts resulted in individual-initiative (“lone wolf”) attacks, such as in Christchurch, New Zealand. Similarly, the attack on the “Tree of Life” Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was perpetrated by an individual-initiative actor radicalized by white supremacists online. Additionally, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) noted that from 2015-2020, there was a 320% increase globally in the number of attacks from members of the far-right.
Security forces must be cognizant of this phenomenon and implement programs to reduce the influence of these radicalization efforts to stop far-right movements from evolving into a more serious threat than they currently pose.