Anarchists, animal rights extremists, and militia extremists are among the most pressing homeland security threats today, according to a recent report from the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP).
NJOHSP outlined 11 categories of individuals and their most likely courses of action for domestic violence over the next three years. NJOHSP proactively collected the information to conduct a trend analysis.
“This report is provided for public awareness of NJOHSP’s analytical assessments, which will guide its efforts to remain ahead of a changing threat landscape as COVID-19 health and safety protocols lessen and restrictions on attendance at mass gatherings and other events within New Jersey are gradually removed,” the agency noted.
NJOHSP released its 2020 Terrorism Threat Assessment, but needed to pivot after the coronavirus pandemic emerged. NJOHSP noted pandemic restrictions could be utilized alongside disinformation and misinformation ahead of the 2020 Election, and released a supplemental report in September of that year.
“All last year, a wide range of ideologically motivated extremists continued to conduct and plot attacks throughout the United States, including in the tri-state region,” read the report. “Of these, anarchist extremists engaged in street-level violence against law enforcement and far-right organizations, militia extremists shifted their focus toward attacking government representatives, and White racially motivated extremists plotted attacks to accelerate the collapse of society.”
2020 Election Problems in Focus
Militia extremists were said to “likely focus on targeting government officials and law enforcement with threats of violence surrounding issues of perceived government overreach,” according to NJOHSP.
It found White racially motivated extremists would work in small cells to distribute propaganda throughout New Jersey. It noted lone offenders may engage in isolated attacks.
Meanwhile, Black racially motivated extremists were said to engage in low-level criminal activity, with lone offenders known to engage in isolated attacks.
All Areas of Interest in the Report
The report focused on 11 groups, including:
- Anarchist extremists;
- Animal rights extremists;
- Anti-abortion extremists;
- Anti-government extremists;
- Black racially motivated extremists;
- Environmental extremists;
- Foreign terrorist organizations;
- Homegrown violent extremists;
- Militia extremists;
- Sovereign citizen extremists; and
- White racially motivated extremists.
Of these groups, NJOHSP noted animals rights extremists, anti-abortion extremist groups, and environmental extremists had not been active in New Jersey for the past few years.
The agency noted foreign terrorists organizations had been held at bay for many years through homeland security initiatives.
However, it also noted the COVID-19 pandemic and associated political turmoil could give them a foothold abroad which could be used for further attacks.