UCSD Lecturer Says San Diego's History With Extremism Should Raise The Terror Threat Locally
Speaker 1: 00:00 After the Capitol riot, DHS has now issued a rare national terrorism advisory warning that violent extremists, good carry out attacks in the coming weeks. One person arrested last week in connection to the riot was from the San Diego area and another who died during the attack after being shot by police. While trying to climb through a window at the Capitol was also from San Diego. The local connections highlight San Diego's history of extremism and the threat of terror that exists today. Joel day, a UCS SD lecture and the school of global policy and strategy who specializes in Homeland security and combating extremism joins us with more. Joe. Welcome. Speaker 2: 00:41 Thanks Jade. Great to be with you. Speaker 1: 00:43 So can you talk a bit about the history of extremism here in our region? Speaker 2: 00:48 Yeah. Many folks have seen a history of extremism, especially in East County in North County. Folks have said that there's around 17 to 20 hate groups here in San Diego. These are groups like the proud boys, uh, the identity Europa, the KKK, you know, Santi with its history, with the KKK has been jokingly referred to as clan T. Um, and then of course, just a couple of years ago, we saw the deadly attack in the Poway kabod, uh, where we, we experienced racism hate, uh, firsthand in our community. And I think that what we're experiencing is not different than what the entire country is seeing, but that we have a rich history in this and that our law enforcement therefore needs to take it much more seriously. Speaker 1: 01:40 I heard you say, um, that extremist groups have sort of spiraled into three different types of candidates. Speaker 2: 01:46 Yeah. So three different types of categories would be somewhat the hate groups. That would be the KKK and the proud boys. These are the chauvinist groups. Um, the second sort of group would be the paramilitary groups. These are the sort of the three percenters or the oath keepers that are heavily tied in with law enforcement and the military very fascist in their orientation. And then finally, we have a kind of sedition as groups or groups that are following the Q Anon philosophy. These are kind of the cookie cookie groups that really are, um, about breaking away from the United States government. We know that Speaker 1: 02:27 FBI raised the red flag, uh, months ago about the threat of white supremacist, domestic terrorism. How do you think Trump's focus on Antifa distracted attention, maybe and resources from the far right threat of white supremacist, domestic terrorism? Well, our soldiers Speaker 2: 02:45 Firsthand here working with, uh, our local law enforcement. Uh, I know that experts all across the United States saw this somewhat false flag of local law enforcement, criminal intelligence units, fusion centers during the black lives matter movement, really focusing on where's Antifa, right, hunting down this Antifa ghost and what this new terrorism advisory shows us is that the United States intelligence community is telling local partners to act on a different sort of threat, right? It doesn't mention Antifa at all. It says it's crucial for law enforcement to take the far right threats seriously, and that we need to really be focusing on that rather than hunting Antifa ghosts. And so instead of criminal intelligence units, trying to find sources of Antifa here in our communities, they need to be focused on those three types of domestic terror groups that I talked about at the beginning. Speaker 1: 03:49 Well, what do you think of our local law? Enforcement's response to the threat of domestic terrorism? You know, given the history of extremism in our area, even the, the 2019 hibachi Poway attack, do you feel that they're using enough resources and are prepared to combat this threat? Speaker 2: 04:06 Look, we're in a national emergency and that's not going away anytime soon. That's what this terror advisory is about. I think that our threat here in San Diego, uh, as evidenced by the folks from San Diego who joined the Capitol insurrection on the sixth is elevated or even imminent. And that we need to get serious about tracking and tracing individuals who were part of the insurrectionist movement, who are part of the three percenters who are infiltrating the more mainstream right-wing movement in San Diego. And here's what I'm, I'm most concerned about that law enforcement and our civilian leadership needs to turn their attention to yesterday. And that is that there are terrorist groups that are, are here locally, uh, hate groups that are attacking our, our residents and our neighbors that are also trying to infiltrate mainstream, mainstream right-wing groups. So people protesting the reopening, uh, of, of the economy after COVID, uh, people who are part of groups like defend County that has kind of become the tourists in this debate. Speaker 2: 05:21 Folks who have not utilized violence in order to get their point, but that are frustrated and protesting against the government. In some way, what they are trying to do is infiltrate those groups and radicalize our neighbors before our eyes. And that is very dangerous. Um, so we know for instance that the three percenters group, one of these paramilitary right-wing groups that trains people to overthrow the government was part of setting up the reopened San Diego protests. And so those sorts of dangerous mean that our neighbors are being targeted. Our neighbors who are frustrated, but aren't terrorists are being recruited every day into these groups and that our law enforcement, our civilian leadership needs to take that far more seriously than we currently are doing. Speaker 1: 06:13 Can you talk about how, um, these folks are, can have connections to military and even law enforcement? Speaker 2: 06:19 Yeah. I think that more than two dozen folks that have been identified from the insurrection six have ties to the military. Uh, like you mentioned here in San Diego, we obviously have a military tradition in a veteran population. There is a, a nefarious connection between, uh, militarism and these paramilitary right wing groups. And we need to do a better job breaking that connection. And that means better support services for our military, investing more in our, our VA and making sure that the sources of grievance politics that drive anybody, uh, but especially the military towards resorting to violence, which is something that they've been trained in, uh, resorting and violence in order to fix something that they think is, is unfixable by the government. Um, by giving more resources investing in these individuals, we can pull them away from the brink. We can prevent people from sliding into radicalization, especially our military, but it requires attention and it requires resources to do it. Speaker 1: 07:30 I've been speaking with Joel de UCS D lecture in the school of global policy and strategy who specializes in Homeland security and combating extremism. Joel, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks Jude.