Far-Right Terrorism in America
Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis senior fellow for counterterrorism and homeland security
Council on Foreign Relations
Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University
Research fellow for counterterrorism, Council on Foreign Relations
Shocking acts of terrorism have erupted from violent American far-right extremists in recent years, including the 2015 mass murder at a historic Black church in Charleston and the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. These incidents, however, are neither novel nor unprecedented. They are the latest flashpoints in a process that has been unfolding for decades, in which vast conspiracy theories and radical ideologies such as white supremacism, racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, and hostility to government converge into a deadly threat to democracy.
In this presentation, leading experts Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware of Georgetown University and the Council on Foreign Relations offer a definitive account of the rise of far-right terrorism in the United States—and how to counter it. They trace the historical trajectory and assess the present-day dangers of this violent extremist movement, along with the harm it poses to U.S. national security. They combine authoritative, nuanced analysis with gripping storytelling and portraits of the leaders behind this violence and their followers. Hoffman and Ware highlight key terrorist tactics, such as the use of cutting-edge communications technology; the embrace of leaderless resistance or lone-wolf strategies; infiltration and recruitment in the military and law enforcement; and the movement’s intricate relationship with mainstream politics. Hoffman and Ware also share an array of essential practical recommendations to halt the growth of violent far-right extremism and address this global terrorist threat.
Time will be allocated for Q&A.
This program is part of the ColumbiaDC CUP series.
"Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware rightly situate contemporary far-right growth within its long historical context while deftly analyzing today’s unique challenges. A vital addition to the global understanding of supremacist terror and what we might do to turn the tide, and indispensable reading for anyone seeking to understand what is demonstrably the most pressing threat to democracy and social cohesion." Cynthia Miller-Idriss, author of Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right
Bruce Hoffman is the Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service; professor emeritus of terrorism studies at the University of St Andrews; and the George H. Gilmore Senior Fellow at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. His Columbia University Press books include Inside Terrorism (third edition, 2017).
Jacob Ware is a research fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and at DeSales University. He serves on the editorial boards for the academic journal Studies in Conflict & Terrorism and the Irregular Warfare Initiative at the Modern War Institute at West Point.