MEDFORD, Ore-- According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent in charge of the Portland FBI Field Office, Kieran Ramsey, domestic terrorism cases are increasing across Oregon.
"We have active investigations across the state right now," said Special Agent Ramsey. "For me, the entire state of Oregon is my concern."
According to data recorded by Statista, terrorist attacks in the United States have increased from eight attacks in 2007, to almost 70 attacks in 2019.
The FBI says that Terrorism in the United States is often seen as an act of violence with the motive to create ideological change, but is also typically viewed by citizens as an international threat. However, this is not the case, as of recently, as most terrorist attacks throughout the United States are domestic, meaning they were initiated by American citizens.
"All of Oregon is reflective of the rest of the United States," Ramsey said. "In fact a couple years ago the FBI put on par the threat from domestic violent extremists at the same level that we have with ISIS. We are just as concerned and just as active in the community trying to identify and prevent some kind of horrible action being taken."
New studies are also showing that the internet and social media could be playing a role in accessibility to interacting with domestic terrorist groups or individuals.
According to data collected by Moonshot, from September of 2020 to March of 2021, Google searches related to Domestic Violent Extremist mobilization including targeted violence, political violence, conspiracy theories and armed groups were up significantly across Oregon.
The study showing that political violence, armed groups and conspiracy theory searches were up by more than 100 percent compared to that of the U.S. national average.
"The fact is that we have a virtual world that can serve as an echo chamber for whatever people's grievances are," said Agent Ramsey. "And then sadly and tragically they think the only way to address that grievance is through violent criminal action."
The FBI recommends to please contact law enforcement or the FBI if you notice any sort of criminal or suspicious activity in your area to better help stop future domestic terrorist events from happening.
"We look to the community as the first line of defense," said Ramsey.