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Terrorist Heritage

May 2024
1min read


In Philip Jenkins’s screed “Home-Grown Terror” (September), the citizens’ militia movement is labeled as an anti-Semitic, paranoid, intolerant American societal faction preaching against and determined to visit violence upon the (good) government, its (good) policies, and (good) laws. Using as evidence one quote from a 1930s newspaper report and some photos of a half-dozen militia members in the woods of Michigan allegedly motivated by a bizarre seventeen-year-old fantasy novel called The Turner Diaries and conservative “hate” talk radio, it concludes that those Bible-thumpin’, gun-totin’ “patriotic Christian Americans” apparently have declared a jihad against (good) government! Altogether a remarkable chain of assertions linking the citizens’ militia movement to the terrorist act of the bombing of the federal office building in Oklahoma City, which has been determined by law-enforcement agents to be the action of two, possibly three, irrational people whose only connection has been service in the United States Army.

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