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The FBI has sounded the alarm about white supremacists and far-right extremists, but the bureau’s own Top 10 “most wanted domestic terrorists” list includes at least two Communists, three black nationalists, one anti-war activist, and a vegan eco-terrorist.
While the diverse roster doesn’t purport to capture the breadth of domestic terror, it seems at odds with federal law enforcement’s claims that white supremacists pose the biggest threat facing the nation. Some skeptics are accusing the bureau of exaggerating the threat by adopting a misleading definition of such ideologies.
“In the FBI’s view, the top domestic violence extremist threat comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocated for the superiority of the White race,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said last year.
A top Department of Justice official doubled down on the claim during a Congressional hearing last week. But Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, said a whistleblower has come forward to cast doubt on the data.
“These whistleblower allegations that the FBI is padding its domestic violent extremist data cheapens actual examples of violent extremism,” Jordan wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
In any case, white supremacists, militia members, and far-right extremists are conspicuous in their absence from the FBI’s list of “Most Wanted Domestic Terrorists.” Here’s who is on the list:
Donna Joan Borup: “A member of the May 19th Communist Organization, a Marxist-Leninist organization which advocated the armed revolution and violent overthrow of the United States Government,” reads the bureau’s bio of her. Borup is a reputed genius with a photographic memory who allegedly threw acid in the eyes of a police officer, blinding him, during a violent protest. Members of the group bombed the National War College, the Washington Navy Yard, and the U.S. Capitol in the early 1980s.
Elizabeth Anna Duke: An 81-year-old former teacher and philanthropist who was also a member of the May 19th Communist Organization, which brought together the Black Liberation Army and the Weather Underground and was named after Communist Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh’s birthday.
Cheri Laverne Dalton, also known as Nahanda Abiodun: A black nationalist and far-Left radical who also was involved in M19CO. She was tied to the deadly 1981 robbery of a Brinks truck, alongside Kathy Boudin, Susan Rosenberg, and other notorious radical leftists. The robbery resulted in the death of two police and one guard. She fled to Cuba where she is “involved with the hip-hop music culture.” Dalton died in 2019, but oddly remains on the list.
Josephine Sunshine Overaker: An eco-terrorist linked to the Earth Liberation Front or Animal Liberation Front. She was charged in Oregon with involvement in seventeen acts of terrorism, including arson and destruction of an energy facility. “Overaker may have a light facial moustache. She was a vegan and may still be,” the FBI notes, and may work as a midwife or sheep tender.
Catherine Marie Kerkow: A white woman from Oregon who belonged to the Black Panthers and hijacked a plane alongside her black nationalist boyfriend, demanding $500,000 and the release of Angela Davis, a Communist black militant accused of murder. They demanded that the plane fly them to North Vietnam. After smoking joints in the cabin, they changed their mind and demanded that the pilot take them to Algeria, where they were granted political asylum among other Black Panthers.
Leo Frederick Burt: Allegedly participated in the 1970 bombing of the University of Wisconsin to protest the Vietnam War. Local news said the campus’ leftist activism “matched University of California-Berkeley on the political Richter scale,” and the bombing targeted a Department of Defense project going on in one of its buildings. A physics researcher was killed. In 1995, Fred Harvey Harrington, president of the university from 1962 to 1970, “said the explosion was a violent response to increasing repression by authorities against protesters,” local news reported.
Ishmail Muslim Ali: A black nationalist serving time for eight murders when he hijacked a plane transferring him to a New York jail and directed it to Cuba, where he became a public school teacher.
George Edward Wright: A black man who was convicted of murder, escaped from prison, and hijacked a plane. He pretended to be a reverend and hid a gun inside of his Bible.
Jose Espinosa Cabellero: A Hispanic man who hijacked a plane flying from New York to Florida, and demanded to be flown to Cuba.
Ambrose Henry Montfort: A black man who hijacked a plane and demanded to be flown to Cuba.
Members of the group most represented on the Most Wanted list – the Weather Underground/May 19 Communist Organization faction – who are not on the lam have been actively protected by Democrat politicians. Bill Clinton pardoned two members tied to the bombing of the Capitol, Susan Rosenburg and Linda Sue Evans, on his last day in office. Judith Clark, one of the getaway drivers in the Brinks robbery, had her sentence commuted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The other getaway driver, Kathy Boudin, became a professor at Columbia University, and her son, Chesa Boudin, was elected district attorney of San Francisco, then recalled earlier this year.
In February 2021, days after Biden took office, a Department of Homeland Security-linked “fusion center,” a liaison office for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of intelligence, issued a report saying that there was a “rarity of targeted left-wing extremist attacks,” and that right-wing domestic violent extremists, chiefly “anti-authority extremists” and “militia extremists,” “were responsible for the majority of deadly domestic terrorist activity.”
It cited three examples: the “Boogaloo movement,” said to be a group of white men who wear Hawaiian shirts; a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan, which later resulted in acquittals after the defense showed that undercover FBI operatives entrapped the defendants; and a man who set off a bomb near a telecommunications hub in Tennessee, even though the fusion center admitted, “the motive remains under investigation.” The Daily Beast reported that the bomber was “kind of a hippie” with long hair who liked smoking weed and hated cops.