The Biden administration on Tuesday unveiled its national strategy for countering domestic terrorism, with officials telling Fox News it’s designed to cut across the political spectrum, while warning that White supremacy and “militia violent extremists” currently present the “most persistent and lethal threats.”
The White House National Security Council released its strategy after the intelligence community, back in March, released its comprehensive threat assessment, which found that domestic violent extremism posed a “heightened threat” in 2021, and after President Biden, in January, tasked his administration with the review.
“This National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism lays out a comprehensive approach to addressing the threat while safeguarding bedrock American civil rights and civil liberties—values that make us who we are as a nation,” Biden said, adding, “we cannot ignore this threat or wish it away.”
INTEL COMMUNITY FINDS ‘HEIGHTENED THREAT’ OF DOMESTIC VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN 2021
The president said the efforts “should unite all Americans” and work together to “root out the hatreds that can too often drive violence.”
The NSC has defined domestic terrorism as “activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and occur primarily within the jurisdiction of the United States.”
The NSC acknowledged that domestic terrorism was not new, calling the current threat environment “both persistent and evolving,” and calls for an “overarching approach” to address domestic terrorism in its current state, as well as the evolving forms in the years ahead.
The NSC said today’s domestic terrorists “espouse a range of violent ideological motivations,” including “racial or ethnic bigotry and hatred, as well as anti-government or anti-authority sentiment.” The NSC warned that the terrorists “take on a variety of forms,” from lone actors and small groups, to networks “exhorting and targeting violence toward specific communities,” to violent, self-proclaimed “militias.”
“Across violent ideologies, individuals and small groups—both formal and informal—have been galvanized by recent political and societal events in the United States to carry out violent attacks,” the council added.
Still, it found that among the “wide range” of ideologies, “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (principally those who promote the superiority of the white race) and militia violent extremists are assessed as presenting the most persistent and lethal threats.”
The assessment of the threat claimed terrorists had “different motivations,” but said many focus their violence “towards the same segment or segments of the American community,” including “persons of colors, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, other religious minorities, women and girls, LGBTQI+ individuals, or others.”
“Their insistence on violence can, at times, be explicit. It also can, at times, be less explicit, lurking in ideologies rooted in a perception of the superiority of the white race that call for violence in furtherance of perverse and abhorrent notions of racial ‘purity’ or ‘cleansing,’” the NSC wrote.
“Another key component of the threat comes from anti-government or anti-authority violent extremists,” the NSC explained, saying the “significant component of today’s threat includes self-proclaimed ‘militias’ and militia violent extremists who take steps to violently resist government authority or facilitate the overthrow of the U.S. Government based on perceived overreach; anarchist violent extremists, who violently oppose all forms of capitalism, corpor
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