For decades now, the most serious threat of domestic terrorism has come from the growing ranks of paranoid, anti-government hate groups that draw their inspiration, vocabulary and anger from the far right. It is disingenuous for mainstream purveyors of incendiary far-right rhetoric to dismiss groups such as the Hutaree by saying that there are "crazies on both sides." This simply is not true.
There was a time when the far left was a spawning ground for political violence. The first big story I covered was the San Francisco trial of heiress Patricia Hearst….There are aging radicals in Cuba today who got to Havana by hijacking airplanes in the 1970s. Left-wing radicals caused mayhem and took innocent lives.
But for the most part, far-left violence in this country has gone the way of the leisure suit and the AMC Gremlin. An anti-globalization movement, including a few window-smashing anarchists, was gaining traction at one point, but it quickly diminished after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. An environmental group and an animal-rights group have been linked with incidents of arson. Beyond those particulars, it is hard to identify any kind of leftist threat.