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In recent decades the Salafi Jihadist terrorism has been perceived as the most threatening one to the culture, interests and the lives of western communities as it stems from irreconcilable culture clash that per the Salafi belief cannot co-exist (Bakker, 2006).
Yet, a fresh observation of statistical data of terror activities reveals an additional phenomenon. Per the Global Terrorism Database, since the 9/11 attacks, most of the terror related deaths in the U.S. have been associated with hate crimes and mass shootings rather than Jihadi-Islamic ideology. In fact, since the Boston Marathon attack in 2013 and the San Bernardino shooting spree in 2015, both of which perpetrated out of radical Islamic motives, all other terror incidents have been classified as either hate based or far right ideology based and have caused dozens of dead (Ritchie, Hasell, Roser & Appel 2020). Per a research published by the IEP – Institute for Economic and Peace the number of “traditional” terror related deaths has plummeted however more and more countries suffer from terror attack originated by far-right elements (Martyr, 2019). In fact, as of February 2020, the common assessment is that within the U.S. far right violence is the biggest threat whereas al-Qaeda and ISIS take a lower level. The situation is similar in the U.K. in September 2019 the British police announced that it was committed to fight the far right that has become the fastest growing terror threat in the country (Macfarquhar, 2020).
In light of the above, this document will review the far-right terrorism phenomenon and compare it to the Salafi jihadi one, in terms of scope and similarities.
Article by Ronen H.
Instructor: Dr. Eitan Azani
This article is part of the RED-Alert project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation Programme under grant agreement No 740688.