NPR

Politics Shape The Debate Over What To Call Far-Right Extremism

Federal authorities say far-right violence is the deadliest and most active form of domestic extremism. Now, a debate is heating up about how to define a threat the White House barely acknowledges.

In the back of a nondescript building at the University of Maryland, a team of researchers combs through the files of homegrown extremists who have plotted attacks in the name of far-right causes.

In each case, researchers are hunting for the motivation, the ideology, that inspired the violence. That means digging into the many elements that make up the far right, as researcher Michael Jensen explained on a recent afternoon.

"White supremacist, white nationalist, white extremist, sovereign citizen, anti-government, Patriot [movement], neo-Nazis, skinhead. What else?" Jensen asked two of his colleagues, Elizabeth Yates and Patrick James.

"I've seen 'anti-federalist' recently," Yates said.

"We also deal with a lot of just specifically anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant," James added. "Kind of

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