(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement on the release of the overdue Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice report on data concerning acts of terrorism, including domestic terrorism, and the Federal government’s response. The unclassified report, which is required by law, was due more than 10 months ago – on June 17, 2020.
“As someone who has long championed the urgent need for robust, centralized, and transparent government data to inform counterterrorism policymaking, I appreciate that the Biden Administration responded to our call for this report to be released after the Trump Administration failed to produce it.
“That said, there will likely need to be more conversations and supplemental data submissions from the Biden Administration for Congress to get a more complete picture of the domestic terrorism threat landscape. Congress needs data to help guide future legislative and oversight efforts to address the persistent scourge of domestic terrorism. The Executive Branch has this data; the biggest takeaway here is that presenting it in an aggregated manner that communicates to Congress and the American people the current threat picture continues to be a challenge. I look forward to continuing to work with the Biden Administration to ensure this long-overdue statutory mandate is finally fulfilled.”
On June 5, 2019, Chairman Thompson introduced H.R. 3106, the Domestic Terrorism Documentation and Analysis of Threats in America Act, or the DT DATA Act, to foster transparency surrounding domestic terrorism data and increase research on the issue with domestic terrorism attacks clearly on the rise. The bipartisan piece of legislation passed the House of Representatives, as amended, on September 26, 2019. The report issued today, pursuant to Section 5602 of FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act, was largely modeled after the DT DATA Act.
After the Trump Administration failed to produce this report, Chairman Thompson, along with Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism Chairwoman Elissa Slotkin and leadership from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on the Judiciary, sent a letter to President Biden this March urging him to expedite the production of this critical report.
Strategic Intelligence Assessment and Data on Domestic Terrorism Report, DHS & FBI, May 2021. As required by the National Defense Authorization Act, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, have produced this strategic intelligence assessment on domestic terrorism, which includes a discussion of activities, certain data on domestic terrorism matters, and recommendations.
Source Homeland Security Committee
Further Press Release
Chairman Schiff Statement on Release of FBI-DHS Report on Domestic Terrorism, Washington, May 14, 2021
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement after the release of the FBI-DHS report on domestic terrorism:
“Congress mandated this report so that the public could fully understand the scope of the domestic terror threat to the United States. In the wake of the January 6 insurrection, this information is even more critical to policymakers and the public as we assess the threat and bolster the resources devoted to keeping Americans safe. The report confirms what has been clear for some time: The greatest terrorist threat we face comes from radicalized lone offenders with easy access to weapons. They attack soft targets and have a variety of motivations, but a large majority of the most significant attacks have been carried out by white supremacist extremists. The DHS bulletin issued today notes that many of these actors are radicalized online through a variety of sources, and understanding how we can break that cycle will be critical to preventing attacks.
“Significantly, the report also details the sheer number of domestic terrorism investigations initiated and cases brought each year – the FBI conducts approximately 1,000 investigations each year, resulting in almost 850 arrests over a five-year period. Additionally, the FBI produced more than 4,000 intelligence products in that same period. This problem will likely only continue to grow, and that makes it even more important for Congress to focus on it now and provide the resources needed to stay on top of this growing problem.
“We look forward to reviewing the full report, ensuring that the administration turns over all necessary data and documents required by law, reviewing mandatory annual updates over the next five years, and working to make this report a permanent requirement, so the public can see how the threat changes over time. We will continue our work on the Committee to determine whether the Intelligence Community and law enforcement are appropriately resourced and postured to deal with one of the most important threats we face as a nation, that of domestic terror and violent extremism.”
Source House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence