Domestic Terrorism Incidents Increase 357% Over 8 Years

The FBI’s number of open domestic terrorism-related cases grew from 1,981 in 2013 to 9,049 in 2021.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is urging the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to take more action to address the threat of domestic terrorism, citing a 357% increase in incidents between 2013 and 2021.

According to the report, the FBI’s number of open domestic terrorism-related cases grew from 1,981 in 2013 to 9,049 in 2021. The big increases in number of cases began in 2018, with cases nearly doubling from 1,890 in 2017 to 3,714 in 2018. However, the increase accelerated even more in 2021, with the number of cases growing 62% from 5,557 in 2020 to 9,049 in 2021.

Racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists committed the most violent incidents from 2010 to 2021. Out of a total of 231 domestic terrorism incidents during that time period, 35% were racially motivated, resulting in 94 deaths and 111 total injuries, and 32% were anti-government motivated, resulting in 15 deaths and 48 total injuries.

Specific civilians were the most common targets of domestic terrorism incidents from 2010 to 2021 at 88. Law enforcement was targeted in 61 incidents, while government organizations or facilities were targeted 46 times. Religious targets experienced 31 incidents during that time period, and healthcare facilities were targeted 14 times.

The GAO urged the FBI and DHS to do a better job of sharing information and coordination.

Read the report.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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