According to three different drafts that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released, the greatest threat that the US faces is white supremacy. The drafts added that extremists seemed to be feeding off the heightened social tension of 2020 to further their reach.
Although the security experts do think that foreign terrorist organizations will try to aim and damage the US, experts believe that their reach and direct attack will be greatly restricted due to a naturally increased border security which stems from Covid-19.
The drafts, which were first revealed to the public via Politico, all concur that white supremacy is the single largest threat in the US. However, the exact tone with which they describe the white supremacy varies. Nonetheless, although the tone gets a bit more subtle, the core is the same.
In particular, the drafts focused on the threat of the so called ‘lone wolf terrorists’. These are often the most difficult to predict and prevent because they act based on their own accords, after being influenced online or elsewhere. Moreover, it is harder to sort them out because they are Americans.
The draft also touched upon another sensitive and persistent threat – cyber attacks and espionage. Russian interference and presence online was already a hot potato in American politics since the investigations by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and his team.
Although China, along with Iran and North Korea to a lesser degree, also possess major threats to American cybersecurity, security officials seem to agree that Russia is indeed the most dangerous force online. To be specific, their ability to spread misinformation was highlighted.
Misinformation from Russia serves to damage the US in various different levels. Not only can it undermine the integrity and trust that the people have on the US system and governance, but it can also instigate direct violence to the aforementioned ‘lone wolves’ in society.
Although the President’s assessment and comments on the issue has been equivocal at times, DHS officials have been much more clearer in their understanding of white supremacy as a major threat to security.
The Acting secretary of DHS had called it a “potent ideology” last year, adding that it is an attack to the diversity which is one of the pillars of America.
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