Time Magazine warned of a growing threat to cops nationwide in September 2010. The nationally renowned publication argued that sinister individuals would launch targeted attacks against police officers and even ambush them in their patrol cars.
Time alerted readers that these groups and individuals have a disturbing hatred of cops and that there was a real threat of “lone-wolf” attacks.
Who are these groups that present such a threat to police? Right-wing militias, according to Time.
In a lengthy six-page article entitled “The Secret World of Extremist Militias,” then-Time Contributing Editor-at-Large Barton Gellman made the case that America should be deeply worried about private citizens forming militias.
“Scores of armed antigovernment groups, some of them far more radical, have formed or been revived during the Obama years, according to law-enforcement agencies and outside watchdogs. A six-month TIME investigation reveals that recruiting, planning, training and explicit calls for a shooting war are on the rise, as are criminal investigations by the FBI and state authorities. Readier for bloodshed than at any time since at least the confrontations in the 1990s in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, the radical right has raised the threat level against the President and other government targets,” the article says.
It even claimed that militia violence, whatever that constituted, was on the rise, and more bloodshed should be expected.
“With violence already up on a modest scale, FBI, Department of Homeland Security [DHS] and state agencies point to two main dangers of a mass-casualty attack: that a group of armed radicals will strike out in perceived self-defense, or that a lone wolf, trained and indoctrinated for war, will grow tired of waiting,” Gellman wrote.
Gellman goes on to claim that these groups have a “dangerous” ideology, which includes patriotism and a strong support for the Second Amendment. He spends most of the article trying to link unrelated acts of violence by white supremacists to “patriot” militia groups, and attempts to coax his interview subjects to say they are ready to commit acts of terrorism.
The author specifically warns that these groups pose an imminent threat to law enforcement officials and should be closely monitored. Gellman relies heavily on a retracted 2009 DHS report — simply titled “Rightwing Extremism” — for his finding. That very same report was quickly pulled by the DHS after its release and was widely criticized for claiming that ordinary citizens upset by the election of President Barack Obama pose a danger to the country.
Since the article’s publication, there have hardly been any reported cases of violence stemming from individuals connected to the militia movement. There is one possible case from June of this year, but it could not be determined whether the two killers in the Las Vegas shooting spree had any connections with militia groups.
Meanwhile, the suspected gunman behind the Saturday ambush of two New York City police officers was certainly not a right-wing militant. Ismaaiyl Brinsley was reportedly a member of the notorious prison gang, the Black Guerrilla Family, which espouses a mix of black nationalism and Marxism. The gang declared “open season” on NYPD officers earlier in December following the non-indictment of the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner. (RELATED: Suspect In NYPD Cop Execution Sought Revenge For Mike Brown And Eric Garner)
A thorough search of Time’s archive produced no stories about the threat that communists, black nationalists or prison gangs pose to police.