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Experts warn of growing far-right terrorism threat as presidential election nears

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Arm up fools. They're not afraid of suicide by police.

The U.S. is facing a growing terrorism problem, and the threat will likely escalate as anger and polarization intensify over the upcoming presidential election, police brutality and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, experts on extremism say.

“Both the anti-quarantine protests that the far-right orchestrated in April and May and the recent civil unrest have accelerated the potential for more violence,” said Daryl Johnson, a former terrorism analyst for the Department of Homeland Security. “I think it will pick up over the summer and especially into the fall as we head into the election.

“We should all be on guard and vigilant, reporting suspicious activity, contacting legislators and forming or joining citizens organizations against hate. This is all hands on deck.”

The escalation of violence, Johnson said, is driven by fear: of looting, protests, the coronavirus, stay-at-home orders and job loss.

“The fear is just feeding this radicalization and recruitment,” he said. “And that’s why they’re booming.”

While anarchists and religious extremists inspired by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda also could pose serious threats, the greatest danger will likely be from the far right, said a report released June 17 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.