DHS Issues Strategy to Counter Violent White Supremacy After Multiple Committee Hearings

Sep 20, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 20, 2019)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, issued the following joint statement in response to the release by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of its Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence after multiple hearings violent white supremacy:

“We are pleased that DHS is finally taking steps to address the deadly threat posed by violent white supremacy.  However, we need additional information about the strategy—and the Department’s implementation plans—to evaluate its potential effectiveness, as well as the safeguards it includes to protect civil rights and civil liberties of non-violent Americans.  We will continue to engage with DHS to ensure that this strategy meets the magnitude of the threat and becomes comprehensive and real.”

In May and June, the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held its first two hearings on Confronting Violent White Supremacy.  At the second hearing, Chairman Raskin stated:

“We … need to hear from the Department of Homeland Security to answer one fundamental question: is there an overall strategic plan to prevent the rise of white supremacist violence?  I fear the answer is ‘no.’”

During the hearing, Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Neumann admitted DHS lacked an effective strategy, commenting:  “We know we’re not doing enough.”  After being pressed by the Subcommittee, she committed to improving DHS’s strategic approach.

Today, Chairmen Raskin and Lynch held a third hearing on the transnational nature of violent white supremacy, where both called on the Administrationto implement a whole of government strategy to counter the violent white supremacist threat.  Chairman Raskin said:

“The Trump Administration has completely failed to recognize the threat violent white supremacists pose to public safety and national security, and it must realign our counterterrorism priorities to confront this reality.  In addition to the FBI and DHS, other national security agencies, such as the National Counterterrorism Center, must treat transnational white supremacy as a transnational national security threat. That is what it is.”

Chairman Lynch said:

“Unfortunately, for too long, the U.S. national security community has focused almost exclusively on the jihadist terrorist threat.  We need to start treating violent white supremacy with the same urgency as we do violent Islamic extremism and with a whole-of-government counterterrorism approach. ”

116th Congress