Boogaloo' on the loose: FBI warns Congress about extremism on the right
Authorities who study extremism told Congress Thursday that far-right groups, not the radicals of antifa, currently pose the most serious threat of political violence in America — including attacks on the police, mayor's offices and shop owners who deny entry to customers who refused to social distance or wear masks.
“The undeniable facts are right now that right-wing extremism is a much bigger problem. That’s where the violence is coming from,” said Heidi Beirich, the recent co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism and former director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, where she spent the past two decades tracking and reporting on far-right extremist activity in the U.S.
Beirich was called to testify Thursday as part of a virtual hearing of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence & Counterterrorism, along with JJ MacNab, a fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, and John Donohue, the former chief of strategic initiatives for the New York City Police Department and a fellow at Rutgers University’s Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience.
The subject of the hearing, led by subcommittee Chairman Max Rose, D-N.Y., was “assessing the threat of accelerationists and militia extremists,” such as members of the so-called boogaloo movement, which has recently become the subject of increased national interest following the arrests of several alleged boogaloo members on charges mostly related to violent actions or plots relating to the Black Lives Matter protests. Among them was an active-duty Air Force sergeant arrested in May and charged with fatally shooting two law enforcement agents in California, including one federal security officer, and injuring two others.
Rose made a point of declaring at the top of the hearing that “this ain’t about politics today.”
“If there’s something happening [anywhere] on the political spectrum that involves violence, upending society, threatening institutions, we gotta look at it,” Rose said, insisting that “it is incredibly irrelevant to me which groups we look at so long as we are looking at the principal ones that threaten people’s lives.”