LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles County was tied for the highest number of ideologically-motivated terrorist attacks in the U.S. over the last 40 years, according to a federal report released Wednesday.
The report from the Department of Homeland Security entitled “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States” said that only King County, Washington, had as many of what the report’s authors described as “extreme right-wing” incidents as L.A. County.
As many as 10 incidents between the years of 1970 and 2008 were attributed to Angelenos described as “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty (especially their right to own guns, be free of taxes), believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty” and other traits.
L.A. County was reportedly also home to 60 “ethno-national/separatist” attacks, the second-highest number of all 65 counties identified as terrorism “hot spots”.
The report classified the perpetrators of such attacks as “regionally concentrated groups with a history of organized political autonomy with their own state, traditional ruler, or regional government, who have supported political movements for autonomy at some time since 1945”.
Religious groups who “seek to smite the purported enemies of God and other evildoers” and protesters who focus primarily on single issues such as “anti-abortion, anti-Catholic, anti-nuclear, anti-Castro” movements were also listed as potential terrorists.
While government researchers said the number of terror attacks in the U.S. had largely stayed below 50 for every year since 1970, the number of attacks that ended in fatalities has fluctuated sharply over the last 30 years, spiking as high as 40 in 1973 to zero between 2003 and 2005.
The report did note that “the vast majority of U.S. counties have not experienced any terrorist attacks since 1970”.