August 19, 2022 | Salon

Katherine Keneally on the aftermath of Mar-a-Lago: “the threat of extremism is not new”

ISD Senior Analyst Katherine Keneally features as an expert in an Op-Ed piece for US news outlet Salon. The article recaps the lead up to the legal search of Mar-a-Lago and how it has played out since among far-right political figures and extremists across the country. As one of the experts providing analysis, Katherine explains that although there has been an uptick in violent rhetoric surrounding the events at Trump’s residence, it is nothing new.

“This rhetoric reflects what we have been seeing — which is an increase in the number of people who view violence as an acceptable course of action in response to beliefs, policies and events they do not agree with. Our concern is that this rhetoric not only suggests an indifference to violence and increased interest in conducting targeted attacks, similar to what occurred at the FBI office in Ohio last week, but how this event, and future ones, are used to spread conspiracies and false narratives that seek to sow division and undermine democracy,” she says.

“Additionally, extremists are using Mar-a-Lago as a catalyst for radicalization and recruitment. We see a range of extremist groups and communities spread false narratives online, including that the search warrant was a political move, that the FBI is lying about an increase in threats to the agency and that the Ohio attack was a ‘false flag’ committed by the FBI, among others. Rather than viewing the search warrant as an indicator that all people are equal under the law, these groups are amplifying false claims that Trump supporters will be targeted next as a way to stoke fear and bolster recruitment efforts.”

Full article available here.