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GOP Zero Votes for Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act and Calls to Abolish Term 'Lone Wolf'

May 26 - June 1, 2022 | Issue 10 - Extremism

Lydia Baccino, Daniel D’Menzie, Asya Kocheva, Extremism Team

Justin Maurina, Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff



USA Flag[1]



Date: May 27, 2022

Location: USA

Parties involved: USA; the Republican Grand Old Party (GOP); the Democratic Party; US Senate; Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Department of Justice (DOJ); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); far-right actors; Buffalo supermarket shooter

The event: The proposed Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act failed to receive a singular vote from GOP Senators, who argued that the bill was unnecessary and unfairly targets US conservatives. The legislation would establish new offices within America’s intelligence agencies monitoring domestic far-right extremist groups, specifically white supremacists and neo-Nazis, on federal, state, and local levels. The bill appeared in response to the recent Buffalo Supermarket Shootings, where 10 African-American citizens were killed in a racially motivated attack.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • GOP Senators’ justification for rejecting the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act will very likely vindicate domestic far-right extremists. They will very likely feel protected and acknowledged by the Republic Party, likely increasing support for the party in future elections. Increasing GOP support by far-right extremists will likely diminish the anti-government rhetoric spread by these groups, who will instead likely bolster hate efforts toward security agencies attempting to combat their spread and operations. These far-right groups will likely construct and spread conspiracy theories vilifying security agencies online, likely encouraging acts of violence toward their personnel and buildings.

  • The inability to implement laws addressing far-right extremism will almost certainly raise public debate on the government’s efficacy and its ability to protect citizens. Advocates of stricter gun laws will very likely feel that the bill’s failure curtails the opportunity for the government to educate society on far-right extremism’s threat and how lax gun laws benefit their violent operations. Some advocates will very likely use social media, traditional media outlets, and street protests to express their viewpoints and likely dispel pro-gun arguments. While these grassroots efforts would likely pressure the government, any serious adjustments will very unlikely be made to gun laws, which will likely further increase citizens’ distrust and lack of confidence in the government.


Date: May 29, 2022

Location: Texas, USA

Parties involved: USA; lone gunmen extremists; far-right actors; policymakers, law enforcement; far-right digital communities

The event: The mass shooting at Uvalde, Texas and the racially motivated attack in Buffalo, New York are the latest examples of domestic terrorism within the US. The term lone-wolf is used to describe these attacks, where the perpetrator acts independently and is considered a societal outliner. Media coverage of the attacks frequently uses the term lone-wolf, despite calls to abolish the term. These calls for abolition have been reignited following reports of several perpetrators being actively involved with various gaming websites, chat rooms, and forums.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Attacks classified as lone-wolf almost certainly create the perception that these attacks have unique motivations. The inability to appreciate the possibility of uncommon motivations for attacks is very likely creating ignorance within law enforcement monitoring and investigations. A lack of comprehension regarding the threat of lone-wolf attacks will very likely continue the perception that these incidents are a secondary threat compared to foreign terrorism. If this continues, resources such as budgets and educational programs, will likely not be given to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

  • Gaming websites, chat rooms, and forums are almost certainly an outlet for these individuals to discuss their beliefs with like-minded individuals without fear of persecution. Sharing these beliefs almost certainly reinforces each other’s delusions, likely creating a narrative where violence becomes an acceptable course of action against perceived enemies. One possibility likely to emerge from these chat rooms is that individuals may come together to plan a coordinated multi-state attack occurring at locations of significance such as schools, sporting stadiums, and nightclubs. Attackers would likely pick these locations due to the heavy socialization occurring here, likely allowing these individuals to act on their beliefs.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1]American Flag” by Cristian Ramírez licensed under Creative Commons

[2] Not a single GOP senator voted to advance a bill to combat domestic terrorism, neo-Nazism, and white supremacy in the wake of 2 mass shootings, Business Insider, May 2022, https://www.businessinsider.com/every-republican-senator-block-domestic-terrorism-prevention-act-2022-5

[3] There is no such thing as a ‘lone wolf’ in domestic terrorism, North Texas Daily, May 2022, https://www.ntdaily.com/there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-lone-wolf/

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