If military strategists are always fighting the last war, the same is true of those who work on countering radicalization. In 2001, Western intelligence services, mostly focused on localized terrorist groups like the Irish Republican Army and ETA, were stunned by al Qaeda.
Come 2011, they were then blindsided by Anders Behring Breivik and the growth in far-right extremism. By the mid-zoios, the Islamist threat had evolved into the Islamic State — and they were slow to spot that, too. Today, we are about to make the same mistake. We will not easily forgive ourselves if our attention is exclusively occupied by the Islamic State or the far-right when the coming wave of environmental radicalization hits.
There's nothing new about radical environmentalism. In 2001, the Earth Liberation Front — a militant, violent environmentalist group — was described by the FBI as one of the top domestic terrorist threats.
Academics have estimated that "REAR" (Radical Environmentalist and Animal Rights) cells can be found in at least 25 countries and were responsible for more than 1,000 criminal acts between 1970 and 2007 in the United States alone — mostly vandalism and attacks on animal testing facilities. Over the last 30 years, there have been periodic fears about new waves of "eco-terrorism." which have never quite materialized. More