10 months, 3 weeks ago
The United States is reviving a law enforcement group to investigate those it designates as domestic terrorists, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
Following hate-motivated shootings such as the one at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas City, Missouri in April, federal prosecutors have pressed the need to coordinate intelligence about such criminals on a national level, Justice Department officials said.
The Department of Justice will reconstitute a task force that was originally formed after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing but dissolved after the Sept. 11, 2001 hijacked plane attacks as law enforcement agencies focused on threats from militants abroad.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that the United States remains concerned about threats from Islamic extremists, but the group will focus on other motives for attacks within U.S. borders.
Events like the April 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, in which the attackers appeared to be influenced by extremists abroad, would not fall under the jurisdiction of the group, named the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee.
“We must also concern ourselves with the continued danger we face from individuals within our own borders who may be motivated by a variety of other causes from anti-government animus to racial prejudice,” Holder said.
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder, Jr. on Monday announced the creation of a task force within the Justice Department to combat an “escalating danger” from “homegrown” terrorists within the United States.
The Justice Department, in a news release accompanying Holder’s weekly video address, cited a Congressional Research Service report last year that said domestic terrorists were responsible for more than two dozen incidents in the U.S. since 9/11.
Holder, in the video, cited the Boston Marathon bombings last year and shootings at Fort Hood in 2009 and 2014 as examples of “the danger we face from these homegrown threats.”
The use of the phrase “domestic terrorists” and Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev is a misdirect. Another source, The Guardian, has a report agreeing with the first one.
The group will coordinate cases that involve Americans who may be spurred to violence for political or prejudicial reasons.
It will include representatives of the FBI, the National Security Division of the Justice Department and the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, which includes representatives of federal prosecutors.
Then Attorney General Janet Reno first established such a task force following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, but it was dismantled after the September 11, 2001 hijacked-plane attacks as the agencies turned their attention toward threats from abroad.
US Attorney General Eric Holder signed a memorandum last month reconstituting the group and will announce the details on Tuesday, one official said.
Events like the April 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, in which the attackers appeared to be influenced by extremist groups abroad, would not fall under the committee’s jurisdiction.
Islamists, terrorists, and international threats aren’t the focus of this group. You get one guess as to Holder’s target. Post guesses in the comments.