Report: Right-wing militia groups threaten civil war

If ISIS can find an army of recruits using the power of social media, United Patriots of Minnesota 3 percent shouldn’t have much trouble, either. There are plenty of people around itching for a civil war.

Take away 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing, nearly twice as many people in the United States have died since 1990 from terrorism on From 2001-2016 there have been more attacks from the far right than from Islamic terrorism, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Is it really a threat?

Fox 9 News suggests Jason Thomas, who was the leader of the 3 Percenters in Minnesota until the FBI raided his Red Wing, Minn., home, talked a typical militia game, but was mostly hot air.

By last year, other members had had enough of Thomas.

They complained on Facebook that, “the last 4 training events have been drunk fests.”

“Sat morning there was broken beer bottles in my fire pit and puke in my yard. One guy slept in his car with no idea how he even got there,” read one post.

Members also began to question Thomas’ alleged military background.

“I’ve had him personally say he was in the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. And I know it’s a flat out lie,” said Raider.

The Fox 9 Investigators checked and Thomas doesn’t have a military record, something he admitted.

“His lies put us in danger with the FBI and the government,” said Raider

They see themselves as a militia, but they have more drama than reality show housewives.

It’s hard to tell if they’re just peculiar misfits, a legitimate political movement, or some kind of domestic threat.

The group has since elected a new leader.

Sean Hayden told Fox 9 his group is preparing for civil wars.

His manifesto to the like-minded carried a Minnesota twinge.

Be nice to your fellow 3 Percenters. No name calling, insulting, and attacking other members. Doing such will get you banned.

  • Erik Petersen

    Take away 9/11 on the Islam side and OKC on the RW side and at that point of measurement twice as many have been killed by RW violence?

    I don’t buy it. Show your work.

    • Angry Jonny
    • jon

      Good news!

      You don’t need to take Bob’s word for it, or PBS’s word for it, there is this thing called doing research… I’ll help you get started:

      You can tally the numbers and find out for yourself.

      Or you can ask some one else to do the research, and you’ll probably still not believe the results…

      • Erik Petersen

        On my honor, I’m persuadable

      • Will

        I’m not the journalist making an argument. He who asserts must defend. Asking for a defense is fair play.

        • jon

          No it really isn’t.

          See if there was a number, that I came up with and presented it, and you said “that can’t be true” and go verify it for yourself… one of two things is going to happen.
          1) you are going to come up with the same or close to the same numbers and independently verify my claims.
          2) you are going to come up with something different and we’ll need to do further research to find out why we came up with two different numbers, which one of us made the mistake, or failed to account for some factor in the others numbers.

          Asking the same person to verify their own work doesn’t accomplish near as much as you’d like to think it would… since that person doesn’t become any more credible to you simply by doing the work over again… so while you might see it as “fair play” the rest of the world sees you as a lazy jerk who can’t be bothered with actually asserting your own point in any meaningful way, with any supporting evidence.

          • Will

            I didn’t intend to earn an insult.

            My point is reasonable.

            My ability to research doesn’t absolve the journalist of his responsibility to support assertions.

    • I misstated. The number killed is only slightly less than Islamic terror attacks, the *number* of “Far RW” attacks is much higher. Will fix.

      • Erik Petersen

        You’re going by what Lyden says, what Lyden got off the web (obviously), and I dont think you are actually doing that a disservice. Saying what he said.

        • Like I said, fixed:

          s. While
          the September 11, 2001, attacks were perpetrated by foreign violent
          extremists, from September 12, 2001 through December 31, 2016,
          attacks by domestic or “homegrown” violent extremists in the United
          States resulted in 225 fatalities, according to the ECDB. Of these, 106
          were killed by far right violent extremists in 62 separate incidents, and
          119 were victims of radical Islamist violent extremists in 23 separate
          incidents. Figure 1 shows the locations and number of fatalities involved
          in these incidents. A detailed list of the incidents can be found in appendix
          II. According to the ECDB, activities of far left wing violent extremist
          groups did not result in any fatalities during this period.

          • Erik Petersen

            So…. Islam outnumbers RW by 119 vs 106 then?

          • Yes. 41% of which were the Pulse Nightclub.

          • Erik Petersen

            You think Pulse isn’t representative of Islamic violence?

          • I don’t know where that question comes from. I said nothing about anything being representative of anything. Just pointing out that 41% of the deaths were from a single incident, which explains partly why the number of deaths are so high for radical Islam when Far RW terrorists commit more acts of violence than radical Islamic terrorists, according to the report I linked above.

            You can translate that however you wish.

          • Erik Petersen

            I don’t know what to make of this desire to have a mitigated explanation like, “oh, they really don’t commit attacks that much. They just kill a lot of people when they do.”

            Well alrighty then.

          • Wasn’t my explanation. Bottom line: There are more Far RW terrorist attacks than Islamic terrorist attacks. Wouldn’t guess that by media attention.

          • Erik Petersen

            Ok, this narrows the range to 2001 to the present, which is perhaps why it’s not that 276 vs 136 figure. To say, since 2001 Islam still leads.

            I look at this as a junk stats / fake stats exercise. I want to be comforted that Waco & Ruby Ridge isn’t being included as RW homicides on the RW side so that it makes someone’s confirmation bias true, ya know.

          • That’s something you’ll have to take up with Justice.

            I will say that prior to 2001, the #1 “crisis” from a terrorism point of view that the FBI and Justice constantly talked about was RW militias and white supremacists. That went away after 9/11 and is only now starting to return as a perceived threat by LE

  • jon

    I’m trying to follow what the heck this group stands for from the article:

    ” When asked what the group stands for he replied: “Protecting community, gun rights, the 2nd amendment, that kind of stuff. Pretty straight up stuff.” ”

    So they are a pro gun rights, and pro 2nd amendment… ok, that’s a touch redundant… they are also for protecting a community… not sure which community, probably the community defined as their group? Because protecting a community that didn’t ask for, or want their protection, would be weird right? Like offering to walk a woman home from the bar, after she repeatedly tells you to get lost, or telling a shopkeeper that he needs to provide protection money… so it shouldn’t be that… because communities have people they PAY to protect them, they are called police… and offering additional protection, unsolicited and unwanted, always has that kind of rapey vibe to it…

    So they are a right wing group that is out to do something, with guns… (justify having the particular make and model they purchased?)

  • Rob

    As long as these pinhead rightist groups remain small and operate more like The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, I think their ability/capability of fomenting civil war will remain de minimis.

    • RBHolb

      It’s not their ability to start a real civil war that concerns me. It’s their ability to mount the occasional attack that will result in injuries and deaths.

      A goober with a pipe bomb is still a menace.

      • Rob

        Yup. But cancer and car crashes have – and always will – result in waaaay more deaths than anything a handful of rightist yutzes here and there might inflict. I’m not suggesting that law enforcement agencies shouldn’t be trying to close these clowns down, as we certainly don’t want a repeat of the Oklahoma bombing, OTOH, I would encourage the populace not to worry inordinately about these ragtag groups.

        • “Always” is a long time. While it is true that the odds of dying from a terrorist attack from any ideologue are small, we are only a bioterror or dirty bomb incident from shifting those stats.

          Right-wing thinkers tend to far overestimate the normal risks associated with daily living, which is why they “know” being armed all the time makes them safer, even though a firearm is much more likely to be used in family violence, suicide, or to cause accidental death or injury. On a national level, they want to build walls instead of upping our game in rigorous inspection of containerized shipping and proactive action through a well-staffed State Department.

          This kind of belief system, exhibited in right-wing militias, seems nutty to those of us who are informed by data and evidence and who take a bit of time to think things through. We do need to be aware that it exists and that its adherents are unlikely to be persuaded by logic and facts.

    • BJ

      Things like Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Standoff and Bundy Standoff are getting really close to civil war.

      • Rob

        Not really. There was certainly the potential for more people to die, and the rightist holdouts would have fared poorly in a firefight. But the public at large was not in danger from the holed-up group.

  • MrE85

    I look at these people with bemused indifference. It takes a special kind of coward to arm themselves against a threat that isn’t there.

    • Erik Petersen

      I tend to agree

    • Brian Simon

      My concern is that those unreasonable fears can result in a “shoot first, ask questions later” mindset.

    • I used to agree with you, but that was when these people directed their anger primarily at the government. Since the object of their scorn has changed to liberals in general, I find myself a lot less bemused. Even more so because their definition of a liberal is “someone who disagrees with me on any political issue.”

      Every once in a while, one of these hapless militias takes the leap to dangerous paramilitary group. Granted, it hasn’t happened in the US in a long time, but when it’s happened in other parts of the world, it’s usually been bloody. All it takes is a good supply of weapons and some discipline to make the jump. The first requirement is already met by any far right militia in the US, we’re just waiting on the second one. Since their are over a hundred of these groups, I suspect that eventually one will sort it out. All they need is time. Good thing we have an Attorney General that we can be sure will keep an eye on these guys, right?

      • theoacme

        If these right-winders want to lynch a liberal, not only would I give them sworn and notarized permission to lynch me (I think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are RIF’s (Republicans in Fact), so I’m definitely, to Trumpistas, an Official Traitorous Commie Librul Enemy of America ®© ), but I’ll personally write a letter to President Trump recommending that he give my murderers the Congressional Medal of Honor…

        …oh, by the way, if I had been asked to that “hopeful/fearful” survey MPR did, I would have said “hopeless”, as in, “…this country we had once, it is no longer a country, it is just a place to wait to die…”

  • Will

    This is boring. One more echo about mythical militia-morons.

      • Will

        Wow. Another SPLC shill article. They are always the source of the militia bogey-man hype. “74% of police forces say domestic right wing extremism is the biggest threat they face”? Seriously?! Not gang violence? Nor drug related felonies? No way. That’s nonsense. This is just SPLC struggling for relevance.

  • Mike Worcester

    In April 2009 the Department of Homeland Security “bowed to political pressure” and suppressed a report — nearly six years in the making — about right wing extremism, later gutting its domestic terrorism division.

    A copy of the report is linked in this article.

  • Blasko

    I’m not always consistent politically. I try to be. After 9/11, I was pushing for us to fight Islamic terrorists, certainly, but also to really try and understand the concerns of those who become extremists. I think I have to push for the same here. Why are these folks advocating violence, and how can we use understandings to minimize the prospect of large scale unrest and violence? I don’t think we’ll have a large scale civil war in the foreseeable future, but this trend is concerning, yes.

  • “His lies put us in danger with the FBI and the government,” said Raider

    Uh, the part about joining that group of misguided yahoos probably put you in that danger, not his lies.

  • I’m kinda cool with the FBI paying attention to all of the militia and white supremacist groups.