State Department says white supremacy rising globally

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June 26 (UPI) -- White supremacy and racially and ethnically motivated terrorism are on the rise in the United States and around the world, targeting immigrants, Jews, Muslims and other minorities, a new State Department report released Thursday said.

White supremacy was the focus of high-profile mass shootings in 2019, such as the mosque attack at Christchurch, New Zealand, the incident at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart, and a synagogue attack in Halle, Germany, last October.

"White supremacist terrorism continues to be a threat to the global community, with violence both on the rise and spreading geographically, as white supremacist and nativist movements and individuals increasingly target immigrants; Jewish, Muslim, and other religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex (LGBTI) individuals; governments; and other perceived enemies," according to the report, which is an annual examination of terrorism by country.

During a Wednesday news conference, the State Department's lead counterterrorism official Nathan Sales, said white supremacy is one of the Trump administration's top concerns.

"It took this administration coming into power to really prioritize stepping up efforts against this threat here in the case of the FBI and DHS, but also abroad where this department comes into play," Sales said.

Sales said the Russia-based group Russian Imperial Movement of provided paramilitary training to white supremacists and neo-Nazis along with recruiting individuals from Europe as and the United States. The Trump administration designated the group as a terrorist organization in April.

"We're particularly concerned about white supremacist terrorism and this administration is doing things that no previous administration has done to counter this threat," Sales said.

Trump has drawn criticism for the issue, including for his response after violence between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, when he condemned violence from "many sides" and said there were "very fine people, on both sides."

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