The Biden administration is gearing up to take the fight against what it calls domestic terrorism to a new level.
In a Justice Department news release on Friday, Carlin delivered remarks about how he defines extremism.
“Our Department of Justice was formed to bring justice, and that means battling terrorists, extremists, and hate. That has been true since its beginning, when our first Attorney General led efforts to protect our country from the threat of white supremacists, successfully prosecuting hundreds of cases against members of the Ku Klux Klan,” he said.
The Daily Beast quoted a “senior Justice Department official” as saying the legal definitions of domestic terrorism “expand a lot of authorities we can use” that could include nationwide search warrants, expanded law-enforcement access to educational and tax records and harsher sentencing.
The official also said that the Biden administration could seek a new law to fight what it calls domestic extremists.
“Obviously that’s going to be a policy question for the folks that are coming in,” the official said. “I’m sure we’ll run a data-driven process to see whether we need additional legislative authorities in this area.”
But not everyone thinks new laws and powers are a good idea.
BYE BYE CIVIL LIBERTIES, HELLO NAZIS:
— Light Vaider (@JohnVaid) February 27, 2021
Does America need a domestic war on terror? #Whitesupremacy is a danger that should not be discounted. But I explain in @JNS_org that scaring the country into regarding it as a threat justifying an assault on civil liberties is about politics, not safety. https://t.co/Kq0xEnvgAw
— Jonathan S. Tobin (@jonathans_tobin) February 18, 2021
These next few years will be hard.
The Washington establishment knows that it’s us or them.
That’s why they are beginning to crack down with everything they have — laying the groundwork for a domestic War on Terror, shredding civil liberties to go after political dissidents.
— Eric Brakey (@SenatorBrakey) February 13, 2021
“We should not lose sight of our disgust at the double standards employed against white protesters and Black ones, or against Muslims and non-Muslims,” Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota told the Daily Beast.
“But at the same time, we must resist the very human desire for revenge — to simply see the tools that have oppressed Black and Brown people expanded… The answer is not more laws expanding the surveillance and security state.”
Carlin said Friday that the Justice Department was “prioritizing the detection, disruption, and deterrence of domestic terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms.”
Carlin added the department would soon ensure its National Security Division “has insight into and can track all cases with a nexus to domestic terrorism” or violent extremism.
“This approach recognizes that success is not the prosecution of a violent extremist or terrorist after the fact when families have lost loved ones and are grieving,” Carlin said. “Success is a disruption before violence occurs and that always has to be the goal of our counterterrorism work.”
Carlin said social media remains a haven for those the Justice Department calls domestic extremists.
“Violent extremists are using social media for the distribution of propaganda recruitment, target selection, and incitement to violence, very similar to what we’ve seen in the [international terrorism] realm for years,” Carlin said, according to The Hill. “And because of the use of encrypted applications, it’s becoming more and more difficult for law enforcement to identify and disrupt today’s increasingly insular actors.”
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