The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has released reports assessing domestic terrorism and mass attack threats as they relate to the state of Texas. While there is overlap between domestic terrorism and mass attacks, it is important to note that not all mass attacks are considered acts of domestic terrorism. The “Texas Domestic Terrorism Threat Assessment” defines domestic terrorism as “the furtherance of political or social goals by U.S.-based individuals or groups through acts or threats of force or violence, and in violation of criminal law.” Under this definition, there are three types of domestic terrorism: racially motivated, anti-government, and single issue. Though each of these has affected Texas, White Racially Motivated (WRM) attacks are “currently the most violently active domestic terrorism type.”
According to “Assessing the Mass Attacks Threat to Texas,” firearms are the primary weapon of choice for Domestic Terrorists, as well as Homegrown Violent Extremists and Non-Ideologically Motivated Violent Criminals, when perpetrating a mass attack. While the methods used for these mass attacks are similar, there are still many factors that make combating these activities very challenging. The main issues involve mass attackers being diverse in terms of motivation and influencing factors, as well as technological advancements that allow for vast, hard to trace communication. In conjunction with the release of these reports, the Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw released the following statement, as reported by Front Porch Rockwall,-
“Evaluating our state’s public safety vulnerabilities in today’s threat environment is critical to keeping Texas safe from the most unthinkable tragedies.”
For more information on the topics addressed, visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Domestic (U.S.) Terrorism, Suicide Bombers, and Lone Wolf Terrorism. Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.
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Author: Victoria Vanderzielfultz