White nationalists pose the greatest threat, according to the Justice Department, which may recommend passage of a national anti-terrorism law.
The United States government released a national strategy to improve analysis of domestic terrorist threats more than five months after a host of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 during an attempted insurrection.
The plan, unveiled on Tuesday, includes increased intelligence sharing among law enforcement, deterring extremist threats, and preventing recruitment and mobilization by extremist organizations, in part by working with tech companies to suppress the 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 all attacks. 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, particularly those who have advocated for white superiority. »Https://t.co/qRTtxgFs8d pic.twitter.com/Bsp8VseFoM
ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) June 15, 2021
Numerous reports from intelligence and law enforcement agencies have revealed 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 government. Ministry of Justice.
Domestic extremist threats are a top priority for the Ministry of Justice. The agencies’ budget for the coming year provides for an additional $ 101 million for the analysis and monitoring of these threats.
The strategy also aims to investigate those who hold extremist views within the US government and military, with agencies developing new approaches to weed out individuals who hold extreme views.
A National Guard walks the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on the second day of then-President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial in Washington, DC on February 10, 2021 [File: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]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 Bidens’ electoral victory, were current and former members of the police and the army.
Law enforcement has long been criticized for the urgency they place on far-right threats, often focusing on left-wing and anti-racist groups and religious minorities.
The strategy aims to ensure that law enforcement operates without bias in the fight against domestic terrorism and ensures 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. .
Discussion of the law
The plan comes amid a discussion over whether Congress should pass a national terrorism law to increase law enforcement’s ability to follow threats.
No current law exists, and some law enforcement officials complain that the lack creates problems in enforcement and intelligence gathering, including the lack of a universally accepted definition of domestic terror.
Smoke fills the aisle outside the Senate Chamber as rioters confront US Capitol Police officers inside the Capitol on January 6, 2021 [File: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo]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 domestic extremist threats.
A coalition of 151 rights groups urged Congress in January to oppose the passage of any new national anti-terrorism laws.
The coalition, which includes Human Rights Watch, the Brennan Center for Justice and Amnesty International USA, said in a statement that law enforcement agencies have more than 50 terrorism-related laws that can be used to investigate and prosecute criminal conduct, including white supremacist violence, as well as dozens of other federal laws relating to hate crimes, organized crime and violent crime.
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.
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