Jewish security experts call for 9/11-style response to fight white supremacists

August 10, 2019 in News by RBN Staff


WASHINGTON (JTA)  — After a white supremacist gunman murdered 22 people in El Paso, Jewish groups that track hate say now is the time to get serious about the threat from the far-right.

In fact, Jewish security officials say, the crisis calls for the kind of response that followed 9/11 — building a system to track white supremacists from scratch. Since the 2001 attacks, white supremacists have been responsible for a far greater number of killings in the US than international terrorists.

The El Paso shooter cited the racist “great replacement” theory — that people of color and Muslims plan to “replace” whites in the West — in his manifesto. His targets were Mexicans.

The same theory fueled the murder of 51 Muslims at two New Zealand mosques earlier this year. Similar theories spurred deadly attacks over the past year at synagogues in Pittsburgh and in Poway, California. According to the Anti-Defamation League, white supremacists have killed at least 73 people since the August 2017 neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“We need a wholesale rethink, in terms of our domestic security posture, to address violent extremism and bias crimes,” said George Selim, a former senior official at the Department of Homeland Security who is now the ADL’s senior vice president for programs.