Left or Right extremists: who is more dangerous?

Recently some of my friends suggested that Antifa is more dangerous than White Supremacists. Is this true?


To some extent for each of us it depends on whom we fear. If you are a well-to-do white guy, you likely tend to fear those left wing radicals who threaten to take away stuff from you. If you are one of the poor people, especially poor people of colour, you likely fear those white supremacists. Where does the truth lie?

One of my trusted sources of information is The Guardian a newspaper or magazine (The Guardian Weekly) based in England. Most of their revenue comes from a trust fund established many decades ago.  I have been reading it since 1982 and find their journalism stellar. I think it is the best in the world. They are not perfect, but they are very good.

Recently I read a very interesting article in The Guardian Weekly by one of their respected reporters- Ed Pilkington.

First Pilkington noted that Chad Wolf the acting secretary of Homeland Security in the US released his department’s annual assessment of violent threats to the United States.  It was written before the recent riot at the Capitol. In the introduction Wolf wrote that he is:

 “particularly concerned about white supremacist violent extremists who have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years. [They] seek to force ideological change in the United States through violence, death, and destruction.”


This was also written just before the FBI in Michigan arrested 13 rightwing extremists who allegedly organized a plot to kidnap and try the Democratic Governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

Earlier in the year in February , the FBI Director Christopher Wray  (not exactly a left-wing radical) told the American Congress

“racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists” have become the “primary source of ideologically motivated lethal incidents” in the US. The danger overshadowed the jihadist threat that has dominated the security debate since 9/11.”

White supremacists in other words.

According to the Guardian, 2018 was the deadliest year on record for domestic extremist violence (it may have been surpassed by 2020) and that year


White supremacists were responsible for most of that bloodshed in 2019 – 39 out of 48 deaths, including 23 people who died at the hands of an anti-Hispanic racist in El Paso, Texas, and a Jewish worshipper murdered at Poway Synagogue in California.”


That means that other terrorists including Muslim Jihadis and Antifa only accounted to 9 out of 48!

 According to Vanda Felbab-Brown, whom The Guardian described as a terrorism and extremism expert from the Brookings Institute in the US, White Supremacy is “by far the most serious domestic danger in the US on many levels – the frequency of attacks, the level of recruitment, the scope of ambition of the groups and the wider political capital they are building.”

The most telling information though comes from FBI data (again not a left wing organization). This is how Pilkington described it after noting that the FBI spent much more money attacking international terrorism where it spent 80% than domestic terrorism where it spent 20%:


“The bureau’s own figures compiled for 2008 to 2018 indicate that the balance of threat is the exact reverse – some 73% of all extremist murders in the US in that period were by far-right terrorists, only 23% by Islamist terrorists.”


In other words 96% of domestic terrorist murders in the US were carried out  by what it called far right terrorists, again leaving Antifa, Islamic fundamentalists and others together being responsible for only 4%!

I think it is fair to say that the left wing terrorists are pretty small beer compared to the rightwing terrorists. And remember all these figures are before the  astounding invasion of the Capitol by Trump supporters who are hardly left-wing radicals.

2 thoughts on “Left or Right extremists: who is more dangerous?

    1. Very true. What they call a socialist is a member of the Conservative Party. Liberals are communists.

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