Center for American Progress

RELEASE: CAP Proposes 6 Practical Steps to Defeat the White-Nationalist Terrorist Threat
Press Release

RELEASE: CAP Proposes 6 Practical Steps to Defeat the White-Nationalist Terrorist Threat

Washington, D.C. — Following the white-nationalist terrorist attack in El Paso this weekend, a new CAP column examines the growing threat of white-nationalist terrorism and steps that policymakers can take to prevent future attacks.

The white-nationalist attack in El Paso this weekend was far from an isolated incident. All but one of the U.S. terror victims killed last year were killed by white nationalists. These deaths come as President Donald Trump uses genocidal rhetoric and engages in racist calls to violence. At the same time, President Trump’s responses to incidents of violence committed by white nationalists are the opposite of what a serious and thoughtful response would look like. He has minimized the threat of white nationalism, gutted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) office that protects Americans from white-nationalist attacks, and deflected the blame for the recent El Paso attack to video games and mental illness.

In  “Combating the White-Nationalist Terrorist Threat,” Simon Clark, senior fellow at CAP, recommends six security policy responses that could improve our ability to prevent these attacks:

  • Require the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute all terrorists equally
  • Mandate that the FBI open a domestic terrorism investigation when crimes prosecuted under state hate-crime laws have links to white supremacy
  • Prevent white-nationalist infiltration of the police
  • Join the Christchurch Call
  • Rebuild the DHS Office of Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention
  • Make it an intelligence priority to investigate international networks

“We can and must defeat the scourge of white-nationalist terrorism,” says Clark. “There’s a role for people at all levels of government, the private sector, and law enforcement to play in preventing white-nationalist violence. It’s imperative that we defeat those who attack us from within and those that encourage them to do so—no matter what their position.”

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at or 202.495.3682.