White nationalists pose the greatest threat, according to the Justice Department, which may recommend passing a “domestic terrorism” law.
The US government released a national strategy to improve analysis of domestic “terrorist” threats more than five months after a crowd of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 during an attempted insurgency.
The plan, unveiled on Tuesday, includes increased intelligence sharing between law enforcement, deterring “extremist threats” and preventing recruitment and mobilization by “extremist organizations,” in part by working with companies. technologies to remove online content that could recruit or mobilize.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, head of the Department of Justice, told a press conference that “the national strategy recognizes that we cannot prevent every attack. The only way to find lasting solutions is not only to disrupt and deter, but also to address the root causes of violence … we can promise that we will do everything in our power to prevent such tragedies. .
Attorney General Merrick Garland: “In the view of the FBI, the primary domestic violent extremist threat comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, especially those who have advocated for white superiority. ” https://t.co/qRTtxgFs8d pic.twitter.com/Bsp8VseFoM
– ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) June 15, 2021
Many reports All intelligence and law enforcement agencies have found that violent domestic groups pose an increased threat in 2021. Far-right and white nationalist groups are considered the most dangerous of these threats by the Ministry of Justice. Justice.
Domestic “extremist threats” are a top priority for the Ministry of Justice. The agency’s budget for the coming year features An additional $ 101 million for analysis and monitoring of these threats.
The strategy also aims to investigate those with extremist views in the U.S. government and military, with agencies developing new approaches to root out individuals who have extreme opinions.
A surprising number of rioters, who gathered on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 to prevent a joint session of Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory, were current and former. police and the military.
The strategy aims to “ensure that law enforcement acts without bias in the fight against national terrorism and ensure the public safety of all Americans.”
Biden said in a statement: “Domestic terrorism – motivated by hatred, bigotry and other forms of extremism – is a stain on America’s soul… It goes against everything our country aspires and it poses a direct challenge to our national security, democracy, and unity.
Discussion of the law
The plan comes amid a discussion over whether Congress should adopt a “domestic terrorism”To increase the capacity of law enforcement agencies to monitor threats.
There is currently no law, and some law enforcement officials complain that its absence creates problems of enforcement and intelligence gathering, including the lack of a universally accepted definition of “domestic terror”.
The Justice Department is also considering whether the Biden administration should recommend passage of such a law, according to The Associated Press news agency.
However, watch groups and experts say law enforcement already has enough tools to effectively tackle national “extremist threats”.
A coalition of 151 rights groups urged Congress in January to oppose the passage of any new “domestic terrorism” laws.
The coalition, which includes Human Rights Watch, the Brennan Center for Justice and Amnesty International USA, said in a declaration Law enforcement agencies have “over 50 terrorism-related statutes” that can be used “to investigate and prosecute criminal acts, including white supremacist violence, as well as dozens of other federal crime statutes hateful, organized crime and violent crimes“.
Failure to deal with these threats “is not a matter of not having the right tools to use, but of not using the ones you have,” the statement said.