On Sunday, White Patriot Party and Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
founder Frazier Glenn Cross
, who had obtained weapons from a "straw purchaser,"
shot dead three people at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and the Village Shalom Retirement Community in Overland Park, Kansas. Cross was charged
Tuesday with capital and premeditated murder for killing 14-year-old student Reat Underwood, 69-year-old physician William Corporon, and 53-year-old Terri LaManno.
Underwood, Corporon and LaManno are the 32nd, 33rd and 34th people killed by right-wing extremists, including anti-government militia members
, Christian fundamentalists and white supremacists, in the United States since the September 11, 2001 Islamic terror attacks, according to the New America Foundation
, a non-partisan public policy institute. Over that same period, Islamic jihadists have killed 23 people in the US.
Last year, the Boston Marathon bombing
, which also killed three people, was treated by the corporate mainstream media and by the US government as a major national event. There was constant 24-hour news coverage, with pundits and politicians alike howling about the undiminished dangers of Islamic terrorism. There was no such coverage after the Kansas City attack.
Meanwhile, conservatives rallied around Cliven Bundy
, the Nevada rancher illegally grazing his cattle on public land who drew hundreds of armed militiamen from around the nation to boost his standing during a standoff with federal agents in which Bundy threatened
to wage a "range war" against the United States.
Some observers have wondered
whether the Kansas killings would be receiving more attention if the gunman had shouted "Allahu Akbar" instead of "Heil Hitler."
Indeed, while Muslim Americans have come under intense-- many say unconstitutional
by state security forces in the years since 9/11, far less government resources have been applied toward monitoring right-wing hate groups and other extremists who sometimes resort to violent attacks like the anti-Semitic murders in Kansas last weekend.
The danger of right-wing extremism within the ranks of the US military is far more common than radical Islam, which gets all the attention thanks to the likes of deplorable but extremely isolated attacks like the one committed by Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan
at Ft. Hood, Texas in 2009. Former US Homeland Security Department senior domestic terrorism analyst Darryl Johnson noted
that a survey of more than 17,000 US soldiers found that nearly 600 of them had experienced attempted recruitment by right-wing extremist groups, while nearly 1,200 knew a soldier who they believed to be a member of such groups.
It's not as if the military and government aren't aware of this. A 2013 report
from the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point expressed alarm at the "dramatic rise in the number of attacks and violent plots originating from individuals and groups who self-identify with the far right of American politics." The report cited Christian fundamentalists, militias, skinheads, neo-Nazis and militant anti-abortionists as growing threats.
To be fair, you're as likely to be crushed to death by your home's furniture
as you are to be killed in any sort of terrorist attack. But with majority of media and government attention focused on Islamic terror, it's definitely worth pointing out that in the years since 9/11, right-wing extremists have murdered nearly 50 percent more people here in the US than have jihadists.