An Intensive Effort To Root Out Domestic Terrorism

Capitol Columns
By: Brad Crone

In the summer of 1980, Glenn Miller, the Carolina Master Dragon of the Knights of Ku Klux Klan held a rally near Benson. The event started in the afternoon heat and went into the early evening with the culmination of a cross-burning.

Johnston County had long been a hotbed for the Klan. Throughout much of the civil rights fight there had been a billboard at the Neuse River entering Smithfield welcoming visitors to the heart of Klan country…it was not one of the county’s finer moments.

As a reporter for the Clayton radio station, WHPY AM 1590, I remember covering the event and providing news reports for the ABC Radio network and the NC News Network.

What I will never forget about the Klan rally was the fact that the number of federal agents equaled the number of attendees. The FBI, the IRS, Alcohol Tobacco Firearms, the U.S. Marshal’s office, and the Secret Service were spread out throughout the region with local agencies from Sheriff George Johnson and the NC Highway Patrol supporting the police presence.

Throughout the afternoon, federal agents were walking through the parking lot taking down license plate numbers so they could catalog those Klansmen in attendance. The federal law enforcement presence was real – it was sustained. The feds were there to make sure the local KKK members knew they were being watched and their activities being monitored.

One of the leaders of the FBI in North Carolina drove up to Johnston County from the Charlotte field office. In his interview, he made the point that it was the job the FBI to monitor hate groups such as the KKK and that they prevent hate crimes against minority groups whether racial or religious.

What impressed me was the coordinated, centralized effort by federal agencies to monitor and observe fringe organizations such as the KKK.

Fast forward to 2021, where there has been an explosion of extremist groups anchored in social media disseminating conspiracy ideas and theories often rooted in make belief fantasies that even the best copy writers in Hollywood could not conjure up.

Step in the FBI and Homeland Security. There has to be a renewed effort to combat domestic terrorism in our country. What the country witnessed on January 06th when an angry mob stormed the citadel of democracy can not be tolerated in our republic.

The federal law enforcement apparatus through the FBI, Homeland Security, ATF, IRS, US Marshal Service and the Secret Service must garner the resources to monitor, observe and take enforcement actions against any group that poses a threat of insurrection and sedition.

It’s their duty to help protect our citizens and our democracy.

Brad Crone is the former publisher of The Clayton Star and The Thomasville Times.  For the past 30 years he has worked as one of the state’s prominent political consultants – operating Campaign Connections in Raleigh. Mr. Crone is a regular panelist on Spectrum News 1.  Mr. Crone is registered Unaffiliated.


  1. Why is there no mention in this article of the domestic terrorism that took place through the spring and summer in our country? The cities of our fine state also played as a backdrop for these terroristic activities. A lack of honesty in our media is the reason a majority of Americans do not trust the media. I may be a simple country boy but there was two life lessons my “Grandma” drilled in to me about such situations 1) There’s your version and their version and the truth lies somewhere near the middle 2) Whenever you point a finger at someone you have three pointing back at you. The media’s one sided reporting (be it left or right) prevents us (the public) from really seeing anything near the truth, which means you’re reporting opinions, which in turn means “the news” is just propaganda. Reporting one side also means there is just finger pointing going on which in turn means that the reporter is just as guilty of the same behavior as that which they are reporting, just from perhaps the opposite direction. A simple man’s point of view.

  2. What the country witnesses and continues to see many times over in cities across the USA pales in comparison to the January 06th event. The event you refer to is magnified by the hate and bias represented by the left and the media.

  3. No mention of BLM and Antifa. Oh, that’s right-according to the media and politicians they were having ‘peaceful’ riots.

  4. Mr. Crone, I wish you would show the same feverish scrutiny towards left-wing terrorists as you have here. I don’t recall any article from you condemning our past summer’s events. If we are to hate hate groups, then by all means lets be genuine in hating them all equally for the same reason.

  5. Nothing new here. While I agree that we should be concerned about groups for insurrection and sedition, it is par for the course for 99.9% of the media to give a pass to hate groups such as antifa and blm. Not a peep from Mr. Crone. Reference 1-6, it was a ” mostly peaceful ” gathering until some “angry idiots” stormed the capital building.

  6. Jan 6 was the frustrated response to many events that occurred throughout the year. Events that cost lives and money, all born by the citizens of the US while Congress and State governments did little more than use a ruler on knuckles. January 6th was inevitable, but is being magnified in its severity because it was an affront to the elites. It’s being blamed on patriots yet the forces active throughout the year were PROVED to be at the event and instigating the uprising. The Capital city police (with a liberal in command) opened the barricades for the protesters. We have a credibility issue with US media and the current administration. I have an issue with this article. It’s more liberal propaganda. The majority is waking.

  7. There aren’t enough Klansmen, NAZIs or white supremacists in the whole country to fill up Carter/Finley, and that’s according to the SPLC which will call you a ‘white supremacist’ if you take milk in your coffee. All this nonsense is a fiction so as to divide us while the Elites steal our rights, our freedoms our money… AND OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE!

  8. KKK BLM and Antifa are all despicable. Too many so-called journalists are also despicable. At least this incomplete piece is aptly in the opinion section.

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