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The DDepartment of Justice reported that it is establishing a new unit of domestic terrorism to help address what officials say is a growing threat posed by violent extremists.
The advertisement It was done on Tuesday by Matthew olsen, head of the department’s Homeland Security Division, and comes as the nation faces a constellation of internal extremist threats.
“The threat posed by domestic terrorism is growing,” Olsen said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “The number of FBI investigations into suspected violent extremists has more than doubled since spring 2020.”
To help counter the growing threat, Olsen said he is establishing the new domestic terrorism unit within the Division of Homeland Security.
“This group of dedicated attorneys will focus on the threat of domestic terrorism, helping to ensure that these cases are properly handled and effectively coordinated throughout the Justice Department and across the country,” he said.
Olsen added that the new unit will “augment” the work of counterterrorism lawyers in the National Security Division, who already work on domestic and international terrorism cases.
The announcement comes as the Justice Department investigates the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, an assault that top officials have called “domestic terrorism.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland has said that The investigation of the assault on the Capitol on January 6 is one of the largest, most complex and most resource intensive. in American history.
But the growing challenge posed by violent domestic terrorism is also evidenced by a series of deadly attacks in recent years, in El Paso in Texas, Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and Charleston in South Carolina.
Jill Sanborn, director of the FBI’s National Security Branch, told lawmakers at Tuesday’s hearing that the threat posed by violent domestic extremists is “persistent and evolving.” The “deadliest threat” from violent domestic extremists, Sanborn said, is posed by white supremacists and anti-government militias.
Racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists are more likely to carry out massive attacks on civilians, and violent extremists in militias often target law enforcement and government personnel and facilities. “
Jill Sanborn, Director of the FBI’s National Security Branch
The Joe Biden administration, which took office two weeks after the Capitol attack, has prioritized the effort to combat domestic terrorism and launched the country’s first national strategy to counter domestic terrorism in June.
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