From Our Archives, Roots of Extremism
The Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump is likely to become a rallying cry (and recruitment tool) for militia and extremist “patriot” groups, as have other events from history: Ruby Ridge, Waco and Malheur.
In 1993, in Waco, Texas, dozens from the Branch Davidian religious sect died when federal agents raided their compound looking for arms. The conflagration inspired Timothy McVeigh, who later bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.
The Capitol invasion came five years after the 41-day occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon organized by the Bundys, a family of Nevada cattle ranchers legendary for their armed confrontations with federal authorities over public lands. Rancher Cliven Bundy viewed the Capitol riots as a “retreat” saying “100,000 should have spent the night in the halls. 100,000 should have protected them.” The FBI has warned that violent homegrown extremists are the biggest threat today, particularly racial supremacy groups.