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house Bill H.R. 1931

Should Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Collaborate to Prevent Domestic Terrorism?

Argument in favor

White supremacist terrorism is a growing threat, as evidenced by recent shootings at houses of worship across the country. It’s important for the federal government to address this threat to ensure communities’ safety.

Jeff's Opinion
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06/29/2019
Yes. Any kind of “I found it first” mentality is simply childish. The goal is to stop the terrorism. Why can’t we acknowledge our differences as positives and work together?
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One4All4One's Opinion
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06/29/2019
Domestic terrorism is a problem which is unlikely to be addressed by the current, corrupt Republican party for two reasons. First, the risk of such terrorism can be used to spur more gun ownership, which the NRA pays Republicans to promote. Second, “There are some very fine people...”. on that side according to Trump. Since the Republican Party has no spine to deter Trump’s admiration and support for these extremists, no legislation will get through the senate on this topic.
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Sarah 's Opinion
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06/29/2019
I’m so surprised that something like this hasn’t already been set up. Domestic terrorists, neonazis, other hate groups are so much more active in this country now
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Argument opposed

White supremacist terrorism is a much smaller threat to U.S. safety than international terrorism from groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS. The federal government shouldn’t waste its time on a few bad actors in the country when there are bigger threats elsewhere.

JYP's Opinion
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06/29/2019
The entire reason DHS was created was to coordinate anti-terrorism efforts between the various federal and state agencies because of a lack of coordination before 9/11. If this bill is needed it only means DHS has failed to do its job.
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tituswife's Opinion
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06/30/2019
Nonsense. Far right is not the greatest threat. The KKK is down to 5-8,000 members. The greatest threat is the left Antifa, which is a misnomer. They imploy fascist tools to attempt to silence anyone who doesn't hold with Marxism. Given the ignorance in this country - and group - they're successful. #ReadABook
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Mark's Opinion
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06/29/2019
Law enforcement already coordinates data on criminal cases from shoplifting to murder. Right wing terrorism is overblown and used by leftists for fearmongering. Right wing groups are usually local and ill-organized. We don't need a law enforcement sledgehammer to kill a Klukker fly.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Intelligence and Counterterrorism
      Military Personnel
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedMarch 27th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1931?

This bill  — the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2019 — would require federal law enforcement agencies to regularly address domestic terrorism threats. It’d also provide training and resources to assist state,  local, and tribal law enforcement efforts to address these threats.

Under this bill, the Dept. of Justice (DOJ), Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would each establish an office responsible for monitoring, analyzing, investigating, and prosecuting domestic terrorism. It would also require those offices to issue joint annual reports to the House and Senate Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Intelligence Committees. These reports would:

  • Assess the domestic terrorism threat posed by white supremacists;
  • Analyze domestic terrorism incidents that occurred in the previous year; and
  • Provide transparency through a public quantitative analysis of domestic terrorism-related assessments, investigations, incidents, arrests, indictments, prosecutions, convictions, and weapons recoveries.

This Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee (DTEC), an interagency task force originally created by the DOJ after the Oklahoma City bombing, would be made permanent and codified into law.

This bill would also require DOJ, DHS, and the FBI to provide training and resources to help state, local, and tribal law enforcement in understanding, detecting, deterring, and investigating acts of domestic terrorism. It would also require the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces and state, local, and regional fusion centers to: 1) share intelligence to address domestic terrorism activities; 2) conduct annual, intelligence-based assessments of domestic terrorism activities in their jurisdictions; and 3) formulate and execute a plan to combat domestic terrorism activities in their jurisdictions.  

Finally, this legislation would establish an interagency task force to combat white supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration of the uniformed services.

Impact

White supremacists; minorities and others who are targets of white supremacists; domestic terrorism; state law enforcement; local law enforcement; tribal law enforcement; domestic counterterrorism training; DOJ; FBI; DHS; Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee (DTEC); and the House and Senate Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Intelligence Committees.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1931

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) introduced this bill to address the growing threat of white supremacists and other violent right-wing extremists:

“It’s time we update our laws to reflect the growing threat of domestic terror. In the last decade, white supremacists and other violent far-right extremists have been responsible for more deaths than any other category. I am proud to partner with Senator Durbin on legislation strengthening coordination on monitoring these groups and preventing acts of violence.  From a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin to a church in South Carolina to a synagogue in Pennsylvania, we have too many tragic examples of the dangers of domestic terrorism, and the recent tragedy in New Zealand shows the vile ideology of hate is growing beyond our borders as well. This legislation is a necessary first step to help our law enforcement contain the threat.”

Original sponsor Rep. Dick Durbin (D-IL) adds:

“Violent white supremacists and other far-right extremists are the most significant domestic terrorism threat facing the United States today. For too long, we have failed to take action to combat the deadly threat in our own backyard.  While federal law enforcement agencies recognize that white supremacist extremism is on the rise, our legislation would require them to take the concrete steps needed to address it.”

Former DHS analyst Daryl Johnson, who now runs DT Analytics a firm providing analysis and consultation on domestic terrorism to law enforcement and academic institutions, expressed support for this bill, saying, “The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, I think, is the first step in developing a better strategy on how to combat these anti-government and white supremacist groups.” While at DHS, Johnson authored a landmark 2009 study on violent white-ring terrorism that noted that the economic downturn and the election of Barack Obama, the first African-American president, “present[ed] unique drivers for right wing radicalization and recruitment.”

When asked in March 2019 whether he believes white nationalist violence is a growing threat in the U.S., President Trump said, “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems,” indicating that he doesn’t believe white nationalist violence is indicative of a broader issue.

Mary McCord, a former acting assistant attorney general for national security at the DOJ who worked on the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee (DTEC), says this bill is a good start, but recommends adding a provision making domestic terrorism a federal crime in order to “add some real direction and resources and heft behind a proposal like this.”

Robin Simcox, a counterterrorism expert at conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, says that while domestic terrorism is an indisputable threat to the U.S., it’s important for the Trump administration to not lose sight of the persistent and distinct danger posed by foreign extremist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaida, which he argues pose a bigger threat:

“When you look at the overall picture of what’s happening in the West, the scale of what’s been planned by Islamist terror outfits like ISIS and [al-Qaida] especially, to me it’s still way up there as a very vital part of the overall threat picture.”

This bill has five Democratic House cosponsors in the 116th Congress. A Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), has 14 Senate cosponsors, including 13 Democrats and one Independent.

In the 115th Congress, the House version of this bill had six Democratic cosponsors and didn’t see committee action. Last Congress, the Senate version of this bill had 14 Democratic cosponsors and also didn’t see committee action.

This bill has the support of Muslim Advocates, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism.


Of NoteA May 2017 intelligence bulletin by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) stated that white supremacist extremism poses a persistent threat of lethal violence. It also noted that white supremacists were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016 — more than any other domestic extremist movement.

According to the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland, which tracks attacks on religious leaders and institutions by right-wing extremists, such attacks have been on the rise since 2014. There were 15 attacks in the U.S. in 2015, 25 in 2016, and 13 in 2017. The average number of annual attacks between 2004 and 2014 was three.

There have been long-standing concerns about right-wing extremists in the military and such groups seeking to infiltrate the armed services to gain tactical knowledge. There have also been concerns about such groups seeking to radicalize troops after they’ve joined the armed services. In a 2008 FBI assessment, “White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel since 9/11,” the agency found just over 200 identifiable neo-Nazis with military training. The report found military experience “ranging from failure at basic training to success in special operations forces” throughout the white supremacist movement. It added:

“FBI reporting indicates extremist leaders have historically favored recruiting active and former military personnel for their knowledge of firearms, explosives, and tactical skills and their access to weapons and intelligence in preparation for an anticipated war against the federal government, Jews, and people of color.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / TheaDesign)

AKA

Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2019

Official Title

To authorize dedicated domestic terrorism offices within the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to analyze and monitor domestic terrorist activity and require the Federal Government to take steps to prevent domestic terrorism.

    Yes. Any kind of “I found it first” mentality is simply childish. The goal is to stop the terrorism. Why can’t we acknowledge our differences as positives and work together?
    Like (55)
    Follow
    Share
    The entire reason DHS was created was to coordinate anti-terrorism efforts between the various federal and state agencies because of a lack of coordination before 9/11. If this bill is needed it only means DHS has failed to do its job.
    Like (39)
    Follow
    Share
    Domestic terrorism is a problem which is unlikely to be addressed by the current, corrupt Republican party for two reasons. First, the risk of such terrorism can be used to spur more gun ownership, which the NRA pays Republicans to promote. Second, “There are some very fine people...”. on that side according to Trump. Since the Republican Party has no spine to deter Trump’s admiration and support for these extremists, no legislation will get through the senate on this topic.
    Like (39)
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    Of course. Why is this a question?
    Like (30)
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    I’m so surprised that something like this hasn’t already been set up. Domestic terrorists, neonazis, other hate groups are so much more active in this country now
    Like (28)
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    It’s doesn’t take the mind of a genius to come to that conclusion,especially when domestic terrorizing is on the up. Something must be done to protect innocents people.
    Like (22)
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    Domestic terrorism is currently the greatest threat to all our safety. The extreme right refuses common sense gun reform and increased hate crime enforcement, and the only way to protect most Americans is for law enforcement to coordinate better to find and stop domestic terrorism of all types. Our churches, schools, nightclubs, restaurants, and public spaces are at risk every day.
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    Terrorism is terrorism and wether it be off our shores or in our border we must do everything to stop it.
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    Nearly all of the terrorist attacks we have suffered over the past 35 years have been committed by white supremacists. It's time to stop ignoring this problem.
    Like (14)
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    The wording “white supremacists”, I think should be corrected. Terrorism can be conducted by others and the law should not be limited in that way.
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    I am surprised that we need legislation to get these agencies to coordinate in addressing domestic terrorism. I think domestic terrorism is a growing issue and is far broader than just white supremacists. I am saddened to feel the need to extend this to any domestic group that is organized to conduct, sponsor or encourage acts of terrorism within our borders. This would include cells sponsored by ISIS and others, as well as groups organized and coordinated by foreign governments.
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    Support Brad Schneider’s bill and reduce domestic terrorism
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    Domestic terrorists have guns. If guns were regulated and kept out of the hands of extremists domestic terrorism would be reduced.
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    It’s been the most common form of terrorism in the US since 9-11 and it was the most common form here before 9-11.
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    As long as they’re all trying to stop terrorism I don’t care how they do it. They should all be sharing info and not being making sure their acronym gets the credit. I’m sure they all want to stop terrorism so that isn’t meant as a shot at the agencies themselves just would hope something wouldn’t happen where the FBI wouldn’t tell the CIA something just so they could look better. Maybe joint task forces are a better way to go? LIKE MY TAKE? GIVE ME A FOLLOW
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    Coordination of law enforcement is a must, no matter what the threat.
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    Should already be happening post Oklahoma City
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    Only if it looks at the threat of white nationalism, white supremacy, kkk as the serious threats of domestic terrorism that they are! Also they need to address the rise in fascism!
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    You’ve got to f’n kidding me!!!!!!!! After all this time - prior to 9/11 - and this is a question in Congress??????????? As a 9/11 First Responder, I’m disgusted that this is even a proposal. Get your stuff together !!!!!!
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    The most destructive and lethal attacks in and on the United States have been from domestic terrorists. Not Muslims, not Hispanics, but home-grown white nationalists who see Donald Trump and Rick Spencer as their heroes and leaders. The sharing of information among law enforcement agencies to coordinate their efforts in combating these threats will be an important tool.
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