AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Public Safety has released its annual state domestic terrorism threat assessments, identifying white, racially motivated domestic terrorism as the most violently active type and involuntary celibates as “an emerging domestic terrorism threat.”
The reports, released under the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott, cite examples from El Paso to the 2014 mass shooting attack by Elliott Rodger. The reports label domestic terrorism “a persistent and varied threat to the State of Texas.”
“Evaluating our state’s public safety vulnerabilities in today’s threat environment is critical to keeping Texas safe from the most unthinkable tragedies,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw in a press release. “Texas is fortunate that the Governor and our state leaders place such a high focus on not only responding seamlessly to public safety threats but also doing everything possible to prevent them. These reports will assist law enforcement and the public in doing just that by providing increased information and awareness of mass attacks and domestic terrorism threats to our state.”
Recognizing racially-motivated terrorism is based on the prevalence of recent attacks nationwide, the report stated.
“Since 2018, WRM actors were responsible for at least three major attacks in the United States (including one in Texas), and several thwarted incidents. This activity outnumbered the other domestic terrorism types,” the report stated.
The report gives several examples of attacks: The Aug. 8, 2019, arrest of a Las Vegas-area security guard, charging him with possession of bomb-making materials and a notebook containing sketches for a potential attack. The Aug. 3, 2019, attack in an El Paso Walmart, killing 22 people and injuring 26 others. A March 15, 2019, shooting attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, ultimately killing 51 people and injuring dozens of others.
“While other types of domestic terrorism have shown threatening and forceful behavior, the loss of life from recent WRM attacks elevates the nature of this specific threat,” the report stated.
Involuntary celibates are also a growing concern, according to the report. Involuntary celibates, also known as “incels,” blame women and society for failures to develop intimate relationships. Many advocate violence against women and men — anyone they perceive as successfully engaging in such relationships.
On June 17, 2019, the day of the attack on the Earle Cabell Federal Building in Dallas, investigations revealed the attacker had posted incel-related items online. In an attack on a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, the attacker posted “prolifically” online, including a series of self-produced songs espousing misogyny and violence towards women, according to the report.
“What begins as a personal grievance due to perceived rejection by women may morph into allegiance to, and attempts to further, an Incel Rebellion. The result has thrust the Incel movement into the realm of domestic terrorism,” the report states. “The violence demonstrated by Incels in the past decade, coupled with extremely violent online rhetoric, suggests this particular threat could soon match, or potentially eclipse, the level of lethalness demonstrated by other domestic terrorism types.”
DPS urged citizens to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement or through the iWatchTexas program, a system that captures and connects potential criminal, terroristic or school safety-related threats in Texas. Reports can be submitted through the iWatchTexas mobile app, free and available on iTunes and Google Play; online at www.iwatchtx.org; or by calling 1-844-643-2251. All reports are confidential.