Sikh temple shootings: A ‘lone wolf’ in Wisconsin


The Department of Homeland Security warned us about the likes of Wade Michael Page, the alleged gunman who killed six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc.

In an April 2009 report , entitled, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” DHS warned that “lone wolves . . . embracing violent right-wing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.” It went on to say that “white supremacist lone wolves pose the most significant domestic terrorist threat because of their low profile and autonomy — separate from any formalized group — which hampers warning efforts.” And it noted that military expertise and knowledge made lone wolves especially dangerous.

There was no warning for the Sikhs who gathered for a post-service meal just before 11:30 a.m. ET. Page allegedly walked inside and opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon. Four were killed inside the building. Two were killed outside the building. Three others were injured. Page was killed by police. According to the Pentagon, Page was in the Army from 1992 to 1998. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Page as “a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band.” That band was called “End Apathy.”

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was skewered for releasing the 2009 report. But she was right to do so. Folks tried to make it a partisan issue, even though the report was requested by President George W. Bush. Authorship doesn’t matter as much as the information inside. And, sadly, the scary warnings have proven prescient.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.

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