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Treat far-right terrorism as the serious threat it is

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BERLIN - The deadly attacks on two New Zealand mosques should draw attention to an obvious fact: Terrorists linked to the far right are no less murderous than the Islamist groups that get more headlines and attention from politicians.

Western governments shouldn’t be fooled by the skewed headline count; watching white supremacists should be a priority — alongside preventing the radicalization of Muslim minorities. This is not just a moment to grieve the 50 dead in Christchurch. It’s time to review the data and make a conscious policy shift.

Islamist terrorists killed hundreds of people in Western Europe and the United States between 2014 and 2016, the heyday of the Islamic State extremist group. That drew attention away from far-right terrorists, but they have kept on killing: 66 people in 113 attacks around the world between 2013 and 2017, according to the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace.

The Australian think tank’s count is, however, too low. It includes only expressly politically motivated killings accompanied by white supremacist manifestos or preceded by racist social media posts — like those perpetrated by Norwegian Anders Breivik, who shot 77 people in 2011, or Dylann Roof, who murdered nine black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. There are other murders that........

© The Japan Times