After the Capitol Insurrection, is More Violence in the Works?
About a dozen New Jersey residents have been arrested in connection with the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol in January and the FBI continues to track down participants.
Since Jan. 6, the nation hasn't seen additional large-scale protests and outbursts that had been predicted but that doesn’t mean the threat of civil conflict has faded away, experts say.
Beth Rabinowitz, an associate professor of political science at Rutgers University who specializes in studying ethnic conflict, military coups and electoral violence, believes additional violence is probable.
She said while the insurrection at the Capitol may have been caused by extremist factions, it’s important to understand that a significant number of people have become completely alienated from the political process in America and believe the system is broken.
She said this group includes former, and in some cases current, law enforcement officers, veterans and others with stockpiles of guns and weapons.
She said communication is as important as weapons when launching an attack.
"Even though we’ve taken them off of Twitter and Facebook, they do have the dark web, which gives people from disparate areas a possibility to coordinate their actions," she said.
She said in order to take some kind of violent protest or action you also need “enough of a grievance to sort of be mobilized into some sort of coherent movement.” She noted former President Trump was able to do that successfully.
Rabinowitz also pointed out in recent years there has been increasing demonization of liberals and Democrats, which tends to bind different dissatisfied groups together and can fuel the fire of a violent civil conflict.
“I do anticipate there will be more violence,” she said. “Whether that’s something that looks more like the kinds of militia holdouts we’ve seen before or more targeted kinds of violence, I’m not sure.”
She said QAnon and other extremist groups are more dangerous than many people understand, but to incite any significant civil conflict, “they have to get moderates involved."
"I doubt that these groups will get enough of a following to really be able to launch a full armed civil war," she said.