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Justice Dept. forms new domestic terrorism unit to address growing threat

The Justice Department
the Justice Department’s
the Senate Judiciary Committee
the Department of Justice
the Islamic State
the White House
The Washington Post

Matthew G. Olsen
Mo Brooks
Richard J. Durbin
Joe Biden
Charles E. Grassley
Ted Cruz
Jill Sanborn
Merrick Garland
Christopher A. Wray


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the White House

the United States

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The New York Times
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Olsen, the head of the Justice Department’s national security division, announced the creation of the unit in his opening remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee, noting that the number of FBI investigations of suspected domestic violent extremists — those accused of planning or committing crimes in the name of domestic political goals — had more than doubled since the spring of 2020.Olsen said that the Justice Department previously had counterterrorism attorneys who worked both domestic and international cases and that the new unit would “augment our existing approach.”His testimony came just a few days after the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol, an event that some lawmakers say showed that the FBI underestimated the threat posed by domestic extremists and violence-prone members of far-right groups.“This group of dedicated attorneys will focus on the domestic terrorism threat, helping to ensure that these cases are handled properly and effectively coordinated across the Department of Justice and across the country,” Olsen said.Rep. Mo Brooks is facing scrutiny for his actions on and before Jan. 6The hearing was convened to assess the threat of domestic terrorism a year after the Jan. 6 attack. She added that the FBI had recently elevated anti-government violent extremism as a priority, on par with racially motivated violent extremism, homegrown violent extremism and extremism planned or inspired by the Islamic State.The breach of the Capitol has spurred new political and policy debates about failures of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to prevent the attack, and about how the government combats domestic terrorism.The Justice Department and the bureau have faced criticism in recent years for not focusing as intensely on domestic terrorism as they do internationally inspired threats, though officials have insisted they take both matters seriously.Last year, the White House released a national strategy to address the problem, calling for, among other things, new spending at the Justice Department and FBI to hire analysts, investigators and prosecutors.Capitol attack will spur broad crackdown on domestic extremists, analysts sayHistorically, domestic terrorism investigations come with more procedural and legal hurdles than cases involving suspects inspired by groups based outside the United States, such as the Islamic State or al-Qaeda.

As said here by Matt Zapotosky, Devlin Barrett