Crime specialists and enforcers are targeting far right religious groups, and particularly what is called “leaderless resistance” in such movements, more than foreign-based terrorists, according to U.S. News & World Report (Dec. 29/Jan. 5).
Since the Oklahoma city bombing, law enforcers have successfully attempted to open lines of communications with militia groups and other organizations with conspiracy-based views on the government. Law enforcement officials have found that only a few of the far right religious and political groups have the potential for violence (in fact, some of the militia members have been helpful in targeting potential terrorists). The “hard-core extremists” number only in the hundreds, and those that are the most well-known, such as the Christian Identity churches and the neo-Nazis have “proved susceptible to infiltration,” write David Kaplan and Mike Tharp.
They add that “what worries officials the most is what militants refer to as `leaderless resistance’– a strategy to avoid law enforcement by operating in small, independent cells. Of special concern are so-called Phineas Priests, fanatics who practice a violent creed of vengeance advocated by the white supremacist Christian identity movement.”
Phineas Priests struck in 1996 in Spokane, Wash. in a four month crime spree that included bank robberies and bombings at the local newspaper and Planned Parenthood offices. Another group appealing to the radical right is the Odinists, who espouse a form of Scandinavian paganism and witchcraft. Although most Odinists are not violent or dangerous, the movement continues to gain a strong following among Neo-Nazis and skinheads, who often mix in their own brand of white supremacy into such teachings.