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Violent white supremacy is spreading – as is Islamic radicalism, experts warn

LONDON – After the El Paso massacre, experts who have been following Islamic extremism for years describe similarities with another dangerous radical ideology: white supremacy.

"People treat white supremacy and Islamic extremism as complete. Although different, they represent both forms of political violence," said Colin Clarke, Senior Research Fellow at Soufan Center, a New York-based newspaper Think tank for security and intelligence. "At the fundamental level, it's about convincing others of their worldview through coercion to violence and terrorism."

Investigators believe the man was accused of killing 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas before the attack. Early Sunday, he published a manifesto against immigrants in an anonymous extremist forum, citing the mosque gunners of Christchurch, New Zealand, who left 51

dead in March as inspiration.

A police officer watches outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, two days after a deadly shootout. Vincent Yu / AP

The extreme ideologies that fuel attacks are part of what experts warn to be a growing threat.

98 percent of the extremists killed last year were right-wing extremists, the highest percentage since 2012, according to a report in the Anti-Defamation League. And even right-wing extremists have killed more people in 2018, according to ADL, than in any other year since 1995.

According to Southern Poverty, the number of hate groups in the US reached a record high of 1 020 in 2018.

Although their ideologies differ, white nationalism and Islamic extremism share parallels both in their origins and in their motivation.

In addition, the indoctrination of white supremacists is strikingly similar to the way Islamic extremists are recruited and influenced, experts say.

Extremists on all sides are directed against disenfranchised young men who have individual complaints. They then meet in online communities and in person to encourage each other, said Clint Watts, former FBI agent, NBC national security analyst and senior executive at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a Philadelphia-based think tank.

It's like a contagion, "Watts said about White Nationalist ideology.

"These guys inspire each other worldwide. They connect online, and the ideology is almost suppressed, "he said. Everyone contributes to their violence, which should make everyone freak out.

In the years following the 9/11 attacks, authorities and the public focused on Islamic extremism.

White nationalists are in many ways more dangerous because, according to Watts, they tend to go under the radar September, the Americans were looking for someone akin to the attackers who looked or acted suspicious.

By contrast, white supremacists attract less attention.

"When a Muslim child showed up to get a gun Buy, what do you think would happen? said Watts. "They would call the FBI."

Fighting white supremacist ideology will require resources and tactics that are similar to the fight against Islamic extremism, from new law enforcement directives to better information gathering, say experts.

As it is, 80 percent of field agents and Analysts dedicated to terrorism are concerned with international terrorism, including in-country jihadist extremists, and 20 percent are dealing with domestic terrorism, including white supremacists, such as Michael McGarrity, FBI's chief anti-terrorist leader Ali Suufan, a former FBI special agent, an expert in terrorism and founder of the Soufan Center, highlighted the seriousness of the problem facing intelligence agencies in a statement in the New York Times on Monday , [19659002] He called on law enforcement, the intelligence services and the courts not to treat the treatment of white supremacist extremists any differently than their jihadist counterparts.

"Twenty Years ago, we greatly underestimated the growing threat of Islamist terrorism," he wrote. "This inattention cost us a lot on September 11, 2001. We can not afford to wait for the white supremacist equivalent."

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