November 4, 2013
Paul Ciancia (Photo provided by FBI/AP) Paul Ciancia (Associated Press)

When news trickled out of Los Angeles International Airport on Friday that the alleged gunman who shot his way through a security checkpoint was found with a note containing “anti-government and anti-TSA ramblings,” my first thought was of former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano.

Paul Ciancia, the 23-year-old who allegedly targeted Transportation Security Administration officers during the Nov. 1 rampage, was charged with murder Saturday. TSA screener Gerardo Hernandez was killed and three others were injured. According to authorities, Ciancia’s note said he wanted to “instill fear in your traitorous minds.” But there reportedly was other evidence of Ciancia’s antigovernment bent.

As described to AP, the note appeared to contain terms and references often found in messages from antigovernment fringe groups. One of the terms was “fiat currency,” AP said. The letters NWO also were used, in apparent reference to “New World Order,” a term used by groups claiming the existence of global conspiracies.

Which brings me back to Napolitano. Three months into the first term of the Obama administration, she was excoriated for a report on right-wing extremism that was commissioned by the Bush administration. Among its many disturbing findings, one was particularly chilling. The agency assessment warned that “lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.”

Ciancia’s alleged actions in Terminal 3 of LAX can only be described as that of a “lone wolf” domestic terrorist. Unfortunately, what happened Friday morning was not the first such incident — and it won’t be the last.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj

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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