Majority of 2017 extremist murders in US were committed by right-wingers: Report

A new report notes that it outpaced Islamic extremist murders.

— -- A new report states that right-wing extremists were responsible for the majority of extremist murders in the U.S. in 2017.

The report includes white supremacists and individuals who identify with the alt-right movement as part of its "right-wing" classification.

“Energized by the 2016 election and the media attention given to the movement, alt-right adherents … increasingly involved themselves in the real world as well as the virtual realm,” the report states.

Of the 34 murders in 2017 that the ADL examined in the report, 20 were committed by people who have ties to far-right extremism, including white supremacists.

There were a number of other high-profile fatal incidents, but the parameters of the report mean that some of the most deadly incidents from 2017 were not included.

"In one respect, the ADL report confirms what law enforcement leaders have known for months -- that when it comes to ideologically motivated violence, the primary threat comes not from immigrants but from individuals who reside legally or were born here in the United States," Cohen said. "On another respect, the report understates the threat facing the U.S. in that it doesn't include non-ideologically motivated mass casualty attacks such as those that occurred in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs."

By contrast, the 20 far-right extremist homicides mark a dramatic uptick from the year prior, with 59 percent of this year’s total being attributed to that category as opposed to only 20 percent in 2016. This doesn’t surprise experts at the ADL, however.

“Increased real-world activity by the alt-right could result in more alliances or crossover between the alt-right supporters and other elements of the white supremacist movement,” said Oren Segal, the director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism. “Violence is very widely accepted, ideologically and culturally, within the white supremacist movement and therefore any increase in real-world activity by the alt-right could also result in more real-world violence by its adherents.”

She cited a 2015 SPLC report which stated that a right-wing terrorist attack had either been attempted or succeeded every 34 days between 2010 and 2015.

"White supremacy is indigenous [in the U.S.] It's been here since the founding of our country," she said, contrasting it to foreign extremism like the attackers responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

"If you don't keep your eye on that ball, that's the one that's not going anywhere unfortunately," Beirich said.