News Release provided by Office of Congressman Bennie Thompson
Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Committee, sent a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan asking him what the Department of Homeland Security is doing to address the domestic terrorism threat after several recent acts of mass violence. The letter also asks him to testify on the matter next month.
These acts of mass violence remind us once again of the serious threat our nation faces from domestic terrorists. In recent testimony, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray stated that the FBI had made more domestic terrorism arrests in the first three quarters of Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 than all of FY 2018 combined. Additionally, Director Wray informed Congress that the number of domestic terrorism arrests equals those connected to international terrorism. The FBI’s response to these recent acts of violence includes opening domestic terrorism investigations. For its part, the National Counterterrorism Center, which has traditionally focused on intelligence “pertaining to terrorism and [counterterrorism] except intelligence pertaining exclusively to domestic terrorism,” is reportedly utilizing its resources to assist the Federal efforts to combat domestic terrorism.
As you know, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established to champion resilience, reduce threats to the homeland, and promote engagement between the public and private partners. As we approach the 18th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, this mission is more critical than ever.
On Tuesday, August 6th, you acknowledged that the Department needs to do more to address domestic terrorism. We are committed to ensuring DHS has the resources necessary to do so but would like to have a better understanding of how the Department is utilizing its existing tools and authorities to respond to attacks like the ones we have seen in recent days.
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