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As the district attorney considers possible domestic terrorism charges against the Buffalo suspect, a Washington Post investigation last year found that domestic terrorism incidents nationwide have skyrocketed in recent years, mainly due to white supremacist,

As the district attorney considers possible domestic terrorism charges against the Buffalo suspect, a Washington Post investigation last year found that domestic terrorism incidents nationwide have skyrocketed in recent years, mainly due to white supremacist, anti-Muslim and anti-government extremists. to the right.

The surge reflects a growing threat from homegrown terrorism not seen in a quarter of a century, with far-right attacks and plots largely eclipsing those from the far left and causing more deaths, the report showed. analysis. The number of domestic terrorism incidents in the data peaked in 2020, according to The Post’s analysis of data compiled by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

From 2015 to February 2021, right-wing extremists were involved in 267 plots or attacks and 91 deaths, according to the data. At the same time, attacks and conspiracies attributed to far-left views accounted for 66 incidents resulting in 19 deaths.

In New York State, 23 domestic terrorist attacks took place during this period, according to the Post’s analysis. In the case of the Buffalo suspect, who police say wrote a document exposing his motives and white supremacist ideology, a New York law that covers “racially motivated acts of domestic terrorism” is punishable by law. a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

Nationally, more than a quarter of right-wing incidents and just under half of the deaths in those incidents were caused by people who showed support for white supremacy or claimed to belong to groups espousing this ideology, according to the analysis. Victims of all incidents in recent years represent a wide cross-section of American society, including blacks, Jews, immigrants, LGBTQ people, Asians and other people of color who have been attacked by extremists from the right brandishing vehicles, guns, knives and fists. .

“What is most concerning is that the number of domestic terrorist plots and attacks is at its highest in decades,” said Seth Jones, director of the database project for CSIS, a nonprofit organization. Washington-based, nonpartisan nonprofit specializing in national security issues. . “It’s so important for Americans to understand the severity of the threat before it escalates.”

Click to learn more about the Post’s investigation into extremist attacks.