In February, the Missouri Information Analysis Center, one of several "fusion" centers created after 9/11 to share intelligence among local, state and federal agencies, issued a "strategic report" warning about a resurgence of the "modern militia movement." Last week, on the same day that white supremacist James von Brunn allegedly killed a guard at Washington's Holocaust Memorial Museum, Missouri's police chief informed legislators that the fusion center had suspended production of such reports. Why? Outcry from conservative activists, who felt they were being tarred too. Similarly, in April, Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives badgered the Department of Homeland Security into backing away from a report about growing far-right extremism.
They may talk about it less in public now, but law-enforcment and intel officials tell NEWSWEEK they're quietly scrutinizing threats from the far right just as carefully as those from Islamic extremists. And the danger isn't entirely homegrown. According to published reports, von Brunn attended meetings of the American Friends of the British National Party, a now defunct group that raised funds for the U.K.'s largest far-right movement. The British National Party's leader, onetime Holocaust denier Nick Griffin, recently won election to the European Parliament and has regularly visited the U.S. to speak to extremist groups.