EXTREMISMDOJ Adding New Unit Dedicated to Combatting Domestic Terrorism

Published 13 January 2022

The Justice Department’s National Security Division is adding a new unit, dedicated to combatting domestic terrorism, as attacks, threats, and associated cases continue to grow. The FBI tells lawmakers that the greatest threat of mass casualty attacks against civilians in the United States comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.

The Justice Department’s National Security Division is adding a new unit, dedicated to combatting domestic terrorism, as attacks, threats, and associated cases continue to grow.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that

The attacks in recent years underscore the threat that domestic terrorism continues to pose to our citizens, to law enforcement officers, to public officials, and to our democratic institutions,” he added. “Based on the assessment of the intelligence community, we face an elevated threat from domestic violent extremists, that is individuals in the United States who seek to commit violent criminal acts in furtherance of domestic, social, or political goals.

Here are Olsen’s opening remarks:

The threat posed by domestic terrorism is on the rise. The number of FBI investigations of suspected domestic violent extremists has more than doubled since the spring of 2020. Communities across the country have been the victims of acts of domestic terror and hate in recent years: In El Paso, 23 people, most of whom were Latino, were killed at a shopping center. In Pittsburgh, 11 worshipers were killed at their synagogue. In Alexandria, Virginia, a lone gunman wounded four people at a congressional baseball practice. In Charleston, nine people were killed by a white supremacist at their church.

Last week, we marked the one-year anniversary of the violent attack on the Capitol on January 6. In the wake of that attack, DOJ has undertaken an effort – unprecedented in its scope and complexity – to hold accountable all who engaged in criminal acts. As the Attorney General described last week, we have arrested and charged more than 725 individuals, including more than 325 defendants charged with felonies, for their roles in the January 6th attack. We continue to methodically gather and review the evidence and we will follow the facts wherever they lead.

The attacks in recent years underscore the threat that domestic terrorism continues to pose to our citizens, to law enforcement officers and elected officials, and to our democratic institutions.

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