A Daily Caller analysis found that just 13 far-right extremists have been indicted on federal terrorism charges since Sept. 11, 2001, despite liberal journalists, groups and academics spreading the narrative that far-right extremists are just as or more dangerous than Islamic terrorists.
Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center maintain lists of right-wing extremists. The lists combined contain 13 individuals charged with federal terrorism or terrorism-related charges.
The Department of Justice has made public a list of 580 individuals convicted of terrorism and terror-related charges between 9/11 and the end of 2014, and Republican Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’ office compiled a list of 131 individuals implicated in terrorism from March 2014 to June 22, 2016. Neither of these lists contain far-right terrorists. Other publicly available information reveals no additional federal terrorism indictments for right-wing extremists.
Nathan Sales, an associate professor of law at Syracuse University College of Law and the former deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security, told The Daily Caller “prosecutors often prefer the easiest crime to prove.”
Shannen Coffin, former counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney and deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s civil division, agreed with Sales.
“You don’t have to prove the intent to cause terror in a weapons charge,” Coffin said. “It’s easier to prove that you possessed/used weapons unlawfully than it is to prove that you’re trying to affect the government or intimidate the public.”
Sales added that terrorists being charged with lesser crimes is something that occurs across the board with foreign terrorists alike.
“If you have an ISIS member who has attempted to blow up a subway car in Washington, D.C., a simple weapons charge will often be easier to prove rather than a terrorism-related charge which requires you to demonstrate a specific mental state like the intent to coerce or intimidate a civilian population. So, that’s actually a dynamic you see pretty frequently in international terrorism cases as well,” the former DHS official said.
Sales pointed to the example of several Saudis being arrested following 9/11 on immigration charges instead of participation in the 9/11 conspiracy.
He said, “the use of the immigration tool is a much easier way to bring people up on charges.”
An up-to-date list of terror attacks since 9/11 from the think tank New America shows jihadist attacks have led to 94 deaths in the U.S., while right-wing attacks have killed 50.