Gaming – Now as Terrorism Threat

Gaming – Now as Terrorism Threat

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A new domestic terrorism threat has been evident in the US, a report warns. Gamification, in which violent extremists liken attacks to video games and try to achieve a high score or kill count, will likely “continue to inspire future plots” along with the societal-collapse ideology of accelerationism, said a joint domestic terrorism report to Congress from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

The threat posed by international and domestic threat actors has evolved significantly since 9/11. “The greatest terrorism threat to the Homeland we face today is posed by lone offenders, often radicalized online, who look to attack soft targets with easily accessible weapons,” the report said. “Many of these violent extremists are motivated and inspired by a mix of socio-political goals and personal grievances against their targets.”

“Our agencies had high confidence in this assessment based on the demonstrated capability of radically/ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) in 2019 to select weapons and targets to conduct attacks, and the effectiveness of online RMVE messaging calling for increased violence,” the report stated. 

“Additionally, other domestic violent extremists (DVEs) likely would continue to engage in non-lethal violence and other criminal activity, and DVE reactions to socio-political events and conditions could increase attacks.

”Five domestic violent extremist attacks in 2019 resulted in 32 deaths. White supremacists inflicted the attacks that caused 24 of those deaths.“Themes like ‘gamification’ and ‘accelerationism’ partly inspired some of the attacks in 2019 and likely will continue to inspire future plots,” the report said. 

Messaging from RMVEs espousing the superiority of the white race has furthered this narrative by framing previous attacks as resulting in a ‘score.’ Additionally, widely disseminated propaganda on online forums and encrypted chat applications that espouse similar themes regarding kill counts could inspire future attackers to mobilize faster or attempt increasingly lethal and more sophisticated attacks.

”Both the FBI and DHS assessed DVEs “likely would continue to focus on attacking soft targets and use gamification to encourage higher fatality attacks,” as reports.