A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Citizen Militias


Since September 11, 2001, public and political concerns have focused primarily on international terrorism and Al-Qaeda. It is surprising that domestic terrorism has been ignored, considering that it was an important social problem after the Oklahoma City bombing. Timothy McVeigh was a right-wing extremist, and when he murdered 168 people on April 19, 1995, the government focused their terrorism efforts on domestic extremism generally and the militia movement specifically. Although there was clear evidence of the establishment of the militia movement in the early 1990s, one can conclude that the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and the erroneous inference that McVeigh was a member of the militia movement, led to a public panic regarding this newly discovered group of domestic extremists. The militia movement emerged in the 1990s, fueled by several significant policy issues and two tragic events.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Chermak, Steven M., and Joshua D. Freilich. 2008. "Citizen Militias." In Encyclopedia of Social Problems, ed. Vincent N. Parrillo. Washington, DC: Sage Publications, Inc., 123-124. https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/encyclopedia-of-social-problems/book22…

START Author(s):

Additional Info