Newell: We can fight white supremacist terror and Islamic terror at the same time

Critics who say we've over-focused on Islamic terror are "full of it"

Newell Normand
August 07, 2019 - 4:35 pm

Some say that America has fought Islamic extremism so hard that we've unwittingly allowed for a rise in white supremacist terrorism. Is there any truth to that?

Newell talked to Todd Bensman Wednesday morning, a Senior National Security Fellow from the Center for Immigration Studies about an article that he wrote for The Federalist, where his argument is essentially that people who think the reason we are experiencing a rise in domestic terror because we've mis-allocated resources fighting Islamic terror are "full of it."

"I was in law enforcement for 40 years, served as a Sheriff for 10, served on the Homeland Security Committee for the NSA as well as the Joint Terrorism Task Force for years, where we always looked at these threat assessments day in and day out," Newell began. "This newfangled criticism of the President... it's amazing to me that they will twist and turn any which way to try to make somebody look bad and they will unwittingly throw law enforcement under the bus on a whim, and they think it's okay."

"We're living in dangerous times for law enforcement," Bensman said. "We need our police officers more than ever, and if you're worried about white supremacy and white supremacists you especially need your police officers, and the intelligence people that back them up."

"I found your article very interesting and right on point - the difference as to how we address this threat from a law enforcement strategic perspective of terrorism from abroad vs domestic terrorism," Newell said. 

"This really irritates me - there's been a steady drumbeat, especially since 9/11 to not detect and prosecute Islamic extremists. Don't go there, stop going there, let them attack. The mantra that we're hearing after El Paso and Dayton is that we have put too much investment into countering Islamic extremism at the expense of allowing white supremacists to sort of rampage, and that is simply not true and it's a false comparison. The reason its false it that the two problem sets are so extremely different that they require their own standalone responses. Islamic extremism is an international problem... terrorist organizations are operating in places like Syria and Afghanistan and they spread that here, and the American response requires the CIA, the military, drones in the air, NSA 'sigints,' as well as good intel inside the United States. I think that people who are saying that we pour too much into countering the Islamist threat do not understand that principle."

"White supremacy is in the rubric of domestic extremism - that kind of threat is not being directed from abroad, generally speaking. It does not require the NSA, the CIA, the military and all of these different tools of our state to counter. It's a false comparison to say 'oh, we put too much into Islamic extremism at the expense of white supremacists - that's a lie. that is just not true and it's being put out there by people who just don't like us countering Islamic extremism."

"They put Homeland Security people under a microscope," Newell replied, talking about Congressional overseers. "And said 'why is it you can get from point A to point B so quick when it's a Muslim, as opposed to a white person?'"

Listen to the full interview between Newell and Todd Bensman below.

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