According to a new report, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness(NJOHS) increased the threat level for white supremacy groups to its highest possible level.
These extremists groups had been put at a moderate level in 2019, now the level was raised to high by Homeland Security officials.
The increase has been justified for the threats and attacks which took place in 2019, including the El Paso attack that left 22 people dead and two dozen more injured.
In New Jersey, a man allegedly had the support of a neo-Nazi network to vandalize synagogues in the Midwest. Investigators reported the man had been considering suicide attacks and violent acts against black shoppers of a mall.
The report states that there has been a significant work of recruiting done by white supremacists in New Jersey and New York. Incidents involving the distribution of racist propaganda increased from 46 in 1018 to 168 last year.
The report reads that “supporters of this ideology demonstrate the willingness and capability to carry out attacks, direct and inspire sympathizers online, and attempt to network globally.”
Nationwide, extremist white supremacists carried out four attacks and had at least 19 additional plots, threats of violence or weapons storage incidents, according to NJOHSP’s report.
The main threat for homegrown violence comes in the form of extremists providing material support or attempting to recruit new members, according to the report.
In a NJOHS analysis called 2019 Terrorism Threat Assessment, the office refers to Rowet Bowers case who in October, attacked members of the Jewish community. He entered a Pittsburgh synagogue and opened fire, killing 11 people and injuring six. The analysis reads that “ It was an attack not only toward members of that congregation, but also against all citizens throughout the United States who should be able to go about their daily lives without fearing for their safety at any event or venue.”
The assessment goes on with similar cases. “In October, an anti-government extremist transported explosive materials through our State with the goal of conducting an attack on Election Day in Washington, DC. That same month, Cesar Sayoc Jr. mailed Cory Booker and 15 other Democratic figureheads packages that contained improvised explosive devices.”
Jared Maples, Director of the NJOHSP said that “Homeland security and law enforcement professionals at all levels have taken notice of the rise in activity from white supremacist extremists,”and he added, “New jersey is committed to protecting the diversity of culture and faith that shapes our great state.”