capitol hill mob protest
(Image: EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo)

The prime minister's inability to discipline backbenchers, News Corp's extremism-based business model, and complacency are increasing the risk of right-wing terrorism in Australia as we fail to learn the lessons emerging in the United States about what drives extremists to violence.

President Joe Biden identified the challenge of right-wing terrorism in his inaugural address, saying “we must confront and we will defeat" it. One of his early actions was to ask US security agencies to evaluate the threat of domestic terrorism.

US police forces have long recognised that the most serious threat they face is right-wing terrorism, which has surged dramatically in recent years to the point where, before the pandemic, it accounted for 90% of terrorist acts in the US. The January 6 attempt to seize the Capitol and its fatal consequences only demonstrated a long-term trend enthusiastically encouraged by Donald Trump.