Riding on the heels of the January 6 investigation into the Capitol riot, the Biden administration’s Department of Justice has announced that it plans to establish a specialized unit dedicated to domestic terrorism.
Matthew Olsen, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, testified on Tuesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the January 6 Capitol riot. He revealed this new change during his opening statement before the Committee.
Olsen said that the threat that has come from domestic terrorism is now rising. He added, “The number of FBI investigations over the past two years since March 2020 has more than doubled.”
The assistant attorney general used these examples: the shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas in 2019; the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018; the shooting at the Congressional Baseball game practice in D.C. in 2017; and the shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015.
Olsen also noted the anniversary of the Capitol riot and made sure they were aware that the Department of Justice had arrested more than 725 people because of their involvement in the breach at the Capitol. He said that more than 300 of those arrested were given felony charges.
“The attacks in recent years underscore the threat that domestic terrorism continues to pose to our citizens, to law enforcement officers, to public officials, and our democratic institutions,” Olsen said. He also indicated that because of the assessment of the intelligence community, the country is facing a rising threat from domestic violent extremists. He took time to explain exactly what they think the threat means saying that domestic terrorists are motivated by both ideology and personal grievances. And he said that the DOJ has recently seen a rising threat from people who are motivated by “racial animus” and “extremist anti-government and anti-authority ideologies.”
He also commented on the fact that the DOJ is still having to watch for threats from foreign terrorist groups including al-Qaeda and ISIS. But he said that in the world today, investigating and prosecuting the threats from violent extremists domestically is one of their top priorities.
In his address before the Committee, Olsen said that the partnership between federal prosecutors and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force is presently the front line of defense against domestic terrorism. He also described the role of the National Security Division in coordinating counter-terrorism prosecutions. There is a team of prosecutors who have been trained to handle both foreign and domestic terrorism cases.
Along with all these changes, there has been a new decision to fully establish a domestic terrorism unit to broaden the present plan. There will be a group of dedicated attorneys focusing just on the domestic threat and trying to ensure that these cases are properly handled through the DOJ across the country.
They will also see that the National Security Division will work closely with the Civil Rights Division to properly prosecute hate crimes that become a form of domestic terrorism. Olsen did see fit to close his discourse by stating that the DOJ does not prosecute people based on their beliefs but only on their violent crimes.
This new task force is being created in the midst of questions regarding the circumstances around the letter written by the National School Boards Association. It compared parent disruptions at school board meetings with domestic terrorism.
This letter appears to have caused Attorney General Merrick Garland to publish a memo that instructed the DOJ to develop plans to “discourage” threats and potentially prosecute parents.
So, apparently, Americans, including parents, are the real threat to America.