DHS secretary and attorney general testify on domestic violent extremism

Alejandro Mayorkas and Merrick Garland testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the threat domestic violent extremism poses to the country.
3:29 | 05/12/21

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Transcript for DHS secretary and attorney general testify on domestic violent extremism
Combatting domestic violent extremism and domestic terrorism has long been a core part of the Justice Department's mission. Immediately upon its founding. More than a 150 years ago. The department pursued white supremacists who had sought to deny newly freed slaves there rights under the constitution. Including the right to vote. Unfortunately the horror of domestic violent extremism is still with us. Indeed the FBI assessed a 2019. Was the deadliest year for violent. Domestic extremism since 1995. In march of this year. Intelligence community in a report drafted by PHS. The FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center. Under the auspices of the Director of National Intelligence. Assess the domestic violent extremists pose a elevated threat. Twenty when he want. And in the FBI's view the top domestic violent extremist threat we face comes from. Racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists. Specifically. Those who advocate for the superiority. Of the white race. The FBI has also highlighted a recent increase in attacks perpetrated by those it categorize this as anti government or anti authority violent extremists. The Justice Department is once again engaged in a complex. Nationwide. Resource intensive investigation. Investigation of the heinous attack on the US capitol on January 6. In our country espousing an extremist ideology is not a crime. Nor is expressing hateful views. Are associating with hateful groups. But when someone tries to promote or impose an ideology through acts of violence. Those acts can be the most dangerous crimes we confront as a society. Regardless of the motivating ideology we will use every appropriate tool at our disposal to the terror. And disrupt such criminal acts and to bring their perpetrators to justice. The terrorism related threats we face as a nation have significantly of all. Since the department's creation in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The threat landscape is now more complex more dynamic and more diversified. Today racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists are the most likely to conduct mass casualty attacks against civilians. And anti government or anti authority violent extremists. Specifically militia violent extremists. Are the most likely to target law enforcement. Government personnel and government facilities. The threats posed by domestic violent extremism. Are often fueled by false narratives. Conspiracy theories an extremist rhetoric spread throughout social media and other online platforms. As a result the department is redoubling its efforts. To detect and disrupt all forms of foreign and domestic terrorism and targeted violence while safeguarding. Privacy protections. Civil rights and civil liberties. The department is currently expanding its analytic focus to more comprehensively review. How extremists have exploit in leverage. Social media and other online platforms. And how online activities are linked to real world violence.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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