Domestic Extremists Embrace Foreign Terrorist Ideologies

Some domestic extremists are likely willing to shift to foreign terrorist ideologies as a way to justify violence due to their susceptibility to radicalization, existing violent tendencies, and willingness to support extremist groups. An NJOHSP review found that many domestic extremist and foreign terrorist ideologies share similar viewpoints typically rooted in hatred and intolerance.

  • In March 2018, Corey Johnson stabbed three individuals at an overnight party, killing one and injuring two. According to Johnson, he planned and carried out the stabbings because of his Muslim faith and one of the victims offended his religious beliefs. Prior to the attack, Johnson viewed violent jihadist videos and claimed support for Anwar al-Aulaqi. Additionally, Johnson’s sister told school officers he was a white supremacist who admired Adolf Hitler and, according to law enforcement, Johnson was fascinated with dictators and the Ku Klux Klan.

  • In May 2017, Devon Arthurs, a former member of a militant neo-Nazi group before converting to Salafi Islam, took hostages at a store in Tampa, Florida, in response to US military bombings in the Middle East. Following his arrest, police discovered the bodies of his two roommates, fellow neo-Nazis he killed for “insulting his religion.”

  • In October 2014, police officers shot and killed Zale Thompson in New York City after he targeted and wounded two officers with a hatchet. Authorities said Thompson viewed videos relating to ISIS, al-Qa’ida, and al-Shabaab, as well as beheading videos. On social media, Thompson described white Christians as “aggressive and violent,” and former FBI Director James Comey stated Thompson sought “inspiration from foreign terrorist sources like ISIS, but there is also evidence he was focused on black separatist ideology.”


For more information, please contact NJOHSP's Analysis Bureau at analysis@njohsp.gov or 609-584-4000.