Two people (Azlan and Smith/NYT) were quoted in the article saying that there are other forms of extremism in the USA that are more dangerous than Islamic extremism. I find that to be an extraordinary claim that should warrant further discussion.
“The FBI, the NSA, the CIA, has repeatedly said that we are at far, far greater risk from right-wing and white supremest terrorism in the United States than we are from Islamic terrorism.”
“Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims.”
But is that really true? When have the agencies said that? What does that mean, anyway? Smith says that twice as many people have been killed by the combined efforts of white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics, AND other non-Muslim extremists. But if you flip this argument, it means that Islamic extremists account for half as many deaths in the United States as *all other kinds of extremism combined*. That’s an enormous number!
But how many, exactly? I don’t care for ten years ago; I checked the numbers for the years 2013, 2014, and 2015 on Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_non-state_terrorist_incidents#1970.E2.80.93present ). Combined I got these results (only US, dead attackers not counted):
Islamic attacks: 5 incidents, 24 dead, 293 injured
Christian attacks: 2 incidents, 3 dead, 9 injured
Anti-gov attacks: 1 incident, 3 dead, 0 injured
White supremacist attacks: 1 incident, 0 dead, 1 injured
No matter if your metric of choice is number of incidents, number of deaths, or number of people physically affected — in the past few years Islamic extremism was the undisputed number one. So either Azlan and Smith are full of it, or this statistic fits in with Smith’s statistic in the only way possible: That in the years following 9/11, Islamic extremism indeed wasn’t much of a problem in the US, but has gradually increased since then and now is far more dangerous than any other kind of extremism.