Daryl Johnson: I tried to warn them
I wrote the infamous report that led Homeland Security to gut its right-wing terrorism unit
By Daryl Johnson
Daryl Johnson: I tried to warn themOak Creek Temple shooter and right-wing extremist Wade Michael Page (Credit: AP)
In November 2011, I read an opinion article in Michigan’s Muskegon Chronicle, which was called “Upcoming Election Year Should Put Voters on Guard for False Reports.” It focused on new information related to a sensitive intelligence report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security called “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Radicalization and Recruitment.” The editorial’s observations were of particular interest to me: As the senior domestic terrorism analyst working at DHS from 2004 to 2010, I was the primary author of the report in question.
The DHS report, released on April 7, 2009, served as a warning to law enforcement concerning the resurgence of right-wing extremism in the U.S. The report was immediately leaked by an unknown individual who obviously took offense with its findings.
Roger Hedgecock, an ultra-conservative “shock jock” based in Southern California, admitted to receiving the official intelligence report from an anonymous individual. By April 12, 2009, Hedgecock had pushed the report into the public domain using his radio program as well as an article he published in World Net Daily (a conservative “free press” media outlet based in Medford, Ore). Hedgecock wrongfully claimed the DHS report demonized veterans and classified all conservatives as potential terrorists.