Rose, former FBI agent pen op-ed about the danger of global white nationalism: 'Terrorism is terrorism'

Rose, former FBI agent pen op-ed about the danger of global white nationalism: 'Terrorism is terrorism'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Max RoseMax RoseAlarm grows over Americans stranded in Yemen amid pandemic Moderate House Democrats introduce bill aimed at stopping China from exploiting coronavirus pandemic Republican Nicole Malliotakis wins New York primary to challenge Max Rose MORE (D-N.Y.) and former FBI agent Ali Soufan warned on Tuesday that U.S. law enforcement has not kept pace with the threat posed by international white supremacist extremism in an op-ed published in The New York Times.

The two claimed that the enemy the United States currently faces is white supremacy and that these kinds of groups are organizing in ways similar to jihadist organizations in the past. 

"White supremacists today are organizing in a similar fashion to jihadist terrorist organizations, like Al Qaeda, in the 1980s and 1990s. They transcend national barriers with recruitment and dissemination of propaganda," they wrote. 

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Soufan and Rose, a U.S. Army veteran, cited global organizations such as the American militant group The Base, the Scandinavia-based Nordic Resistance Movement and the Ukrainian Azov Battalion, all of which have allegedly threatened or targeted both men.

Rose and Soufan said these groups are interconnected, prompting individuals in different countries — such as the Australian man accused of killing 51 people at two New Zealand mosques last year — to commit acts of violence. They said that man also allegedly wore a symbol associated with the Azov Battalion.

In addition, they said, numerous figures associated with the August 2017 Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., are also believed to have trained with the Ukrainian group. 

The problem, the lawmaker and former FBI agent asserted, is that the U.S. government has yet to designate these groups as foreign terrorist organizations, thus prohibiting law enforcement's efforts to curb the threat the groups represent. 

“The arrest of members of The Base in January, including a Canadian national, illustrates not only the F.B.I.’s recognition of the threat and resolve to protect Americans, but also the international connections of American groups. But law enforcement cannot utilize the most effective tools to protect the country,” they wrote.

The designation, they said, would give law enforcement several advantages they already have when it comes to Islamist terrorist groups, including the power to monitor communications between figures connected to the groups, share intelligence with international allies and bring charges for providing material support to such groups, they said.

"Terrorism is terrorism, however its perpetrators justify it inside their twisted minds. If these peddlers of hate hoped to silence us by attacking us online, they have failed. They’ve only hardened our resolve,” the op-ed concluded.