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Subcommittee Chairmen Seek Info on Intelligence Community’s Strategy to Combat White Supremacist Terrorism

Sep 30, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 30, 2019)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, sent a letter asking Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to provide information about how the Intelligence Community (IC) is defending the nation against the growing threat of transnational, white supremacist terrorism.

“Given their historic practice of treating violent white supremacy as a domestic terrorism issue, within the almost exclusive jurisdiction of the FBI and DHS, we are concerned that the remaining IC agencies have not aligned their strategic priorities with the commensurate transnational threat of violent white supremacy,” the Chairmen wrote.

On September 20, 2019, during a joint Subcommittee hearing on the threat of white supremacist terrorism, Dr. Joshua Geltzer, former National Security Council Senior Director for Counterterrorism, testified that white supremacist terrorism “is a form of international terrorism.”  Dr. Geltzer added that the international nature of the threat should, “within existing statutory authorities, activate the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and allow it to play the role in this area that I saw it play firsthand when it came to jihadism.”

“We are pleased that after months of prodding, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally released its long-promised Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence, which identifies white supremacist violent extremists as a national security threat to the U.S. homeland,” the Chairmen wrote.  “We hope and expect the remaining IC agencies will follow suit.”

The Chairmen asked Director Maguire to provide a briefing by October 18, 2019, on the IC’s strategy to combat the threat of transnational white supremacist terrorism, as well as any policies, strategies, or implementation documents that would help to inform the Subcommittees’ work.

Click here to read today’s letter.

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116th Congress