Targeted violence* and hate crimes, sometimes referred to as domestic terrorism, are among the most persistent and lethal threats to the United States. While discussing the increasing threat in 2021, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated, “The problem of domestic terrorism has been metastasizing across the country for a long time now, and it’s not going away anytime soon.” Among domestic violent extremist movements, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security found that “racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists—specifically white supremacist extremists —will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland.”
Targeted violence is not only prevalent in the U.S.; it takes place all across the globe in many different ways. For example, the UN Secretary General has stated that “[w]hite supremacy and neo-Nazi movements are more than domestic terror threats. . . .Today, these extremist movements represent the number one internal security threat in several countries.” Addressing the mobilization from hate to violence requires innovative solutions, collaboration among practitioners and widespread knowledge sharing.
To empower communities to stand up to hate-based violence, the McCain Institute has formed the Preventing Targeted Violence Program. This program consists of student innovation challenges, creation of a prevention practitioners’ network and a National Policy Blueprint to End White Supremacist Violence.