Opinion Make domestic terrorism a federal crime: FBI Agents Association

10:31  22 february  2021
10:31  22 february  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

Americans Think Donald Trump Made More Progress on Terrorism Than Barack Obama Despite Far-Right Threat

  Americans Think Donald Trump Made More Progress on Terrorism Than Barack Obama Despite Far-Right Threat The former president is now facing a second Senate trial accused of inciting the storming of the Capitol building by a far-right mob on January 6.Gallup's poll surveyed 906 adults across the country between January 21 and February 2 with a 4 percent margin of error. It found that a plurality of 44 percent of respondents think Trump has made progress in combatting terrorism, despite bipartisan concerns that the president's term was a boon for far-right extremism.

The FBI Agents Association believes making domestic terrorism a federal crime would give agents and prosecutors the best tools to fight it. Learn more about

The FBI Agents Association wants Congress to make domestic terrorism a federal crime . “We need to make sure we do all we can to deter individuals and hold accountable any individuals in the United States who are seeking to bring terror against our fellow citizens,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA). Representative Swalwell supports the effort. “I’m concerned right now minorities are being targeted by white nationalists,” he said. Civil rights organizations worry a federal domestic terrorism law could hurt communities of color. Nadia Aziz from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law

Our country is focused on fighting the varied threats of domestic terrorism, and that is a good thing. Many are considering a domestic terrorism law, but there are misconceptions about what such a law should do.

a close up of a box: At FBI headquarters in Washington. © Jose Luis Magana/AP At FBI headquarters in Washington.

The FBI Agents Association supports a law that creates penalties for those violent acts that meet the definition of domestic terrorism already included in the federal criminal code.

As an FBI special agent, I have spent many of my 21 years investigating domestic terrorism matters. I know making domestic terrorism a federal crime is important. It would offer an additional tool and increase the effectiveness of law enforcement personnel dedicated to protecting the public.

FBI Releases New Photos of Capitol Riot Suspects As Total Charged Tops 200

  FBI Releases New Photos of Capitol Riot Suspects As Total Charged Tops 200 The images join the hundreds already posted by the federal agency as it hunts the people who stormed the Capitol. The bureau has called on the public to help identify individuals "who made unlawful entry into the U.S. Capitol building and committed various other alleged criminal violations" on January 6 in Washington, D.C.Analysis of footage from inside the building, together with tips from members of the public and other witnesses, has led to charges against roughly 226 people, according to a database maintained by the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.

The FBI Agents Association released a statement Tuesday calling on Congress to make domestic terrorism a federal crime in the wake of two mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. The statement came with the FBI facing renewed criticism that it's inadequately combating domestic terrorism and failing to address it as vigorously as it does international terrorism . But civil-rights activists have expressed concerns that broadening the government's powers to address domestic terrorism could test the limits of free speech. It could also test whether Americans approve of

There is no specific federal law against domestic terrorism but FBI agents are demanding one. Jeff Pegues reports on why tracking down extremists in this country is so difficult.

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Equally important, we are not seeking a law that would change or expand law enforcement’s investigative or surveillance authorities. And we do not support the designation of groups as domestic terrorist organizations. Making domestic terrorism a federal crime would not result in the targeting of specific ideas or groups. Rather, it would target acts of violence that have no place in the political discourse secured by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Law enforcement agencies are already authorized to investigate allegations and incidents of domestic terrorism. However, prosecutors can’t charge domestic terrorism the same way they’d charge kidnapping or bank robbery, because there is no penalty. Prosecutors are left searching for related violations where penalties exist, like weapons or narcotics violations.

Defeating domestic terror requires confronting white supremacy across the globe

  Defeating domestic terror requires confronting white supremacy across the globe Recognizing the international dimensions of the domestic terrorism threat will allow the federal government to leverage the full package of tools needed to sever domestic terrorists from their sources of strength overseas. That toolkit includes designations aimed at cutting off money to overseas groups and deterring Americans from interacting with them, travel restrictions to the United States on foreign white supremacist and neo-Nazi terrorists and the promotion of counter-narratives to combat conspiracy theories promulgated by the movement. The vast resources of the U.S.

New evidence reveals the federal agency attempted to entrap Mateen with confidential informants (CIs) during the course of its 'pre- crime ' investigation , a common technique that critics believe creates terrorists rather than prevents attacks. Ferdaus was targeted by a paid FBI informant who reportedly had a heroin addiction. After infiltrating his mosque, the CI told the FBI that Ferdaus had said he wanted to attack the Capitol building. Two FBI agents were then sent to act as Al-Qaeda operatives, developing a relationship with Ferdaus.

The FBI Agents Association on Tuesday demanded that members of Congress codify domestic terrorism as a federal crime , warning it poses “a threat to the American people and our democracy.” “Acts of violence intended to intimidate civilian populations or to influence or affect government policy The association “continues to urge Congress to make domestic terrorism a federal crime ,” O’Hare added — a designation that “would ensure that FBI Agents and prosecutors have the best tools to fight domestic terrorism .” The statement from the association , which represents more than 14,000 active

Calling out domestic terrorism for what it is promotes deterrence. Imagine being a victim of domestic terrorism only to discover that it isn’t against the law. Victims deserve to have the crimes against them — and the trauma they cause — named accurately.

The federal government should establish a baseline principle for our democracy — political violence, regardless of origin, is unacceptable. Political violence creates victims, and laws are intended to protect those who could be victimized by dangerous conduct.

This view is widely supported by the public and leaders across the political spectrum. Making domestic terrorism a federal crime would be a logical and important affirmation of our shared values and would send a clear message about our country’s commitment to resolving political differences peacefully.

Brian O’Hare is president of the FBI Agents Association.

Five reasons to be wary of a new domestic terrorism law

  Five reasons to be wary of a new domestic terrorism law Dealing with increased violence by domestic extremists may be the greatest legal challenge this nation has faced since the Civil War. But our current criminal statutes are adequate. They have been used successfully to weaken previous cohorts of white supremacists and defeat the left-wing bombers of the 1970s.Instead of a new domestic terrorism law, this moment calls for rigorous and equal enforcement of existing law, treating offenders as ordinary criminals, and avoiding legislation that may undermine Americans' rights and create labels that deepen the current political divide.

vaguely defined federal crimes will surely not be abused by prosecutors.

The FBI Agents Association , among others, has pushed Congress to adopt such a statute, and polling indicates that most Americans would support that kind of law. The federal government has sometimes struggled to convict alleged domestic terrorists or reached plea agreements that were more Clark stockpiled racist gear in his room and considered the Pittsburgh shooter a “hero” whose victims “deserved” to be killed. A federal prosecutor said Clark was “a bomb” waiting to explode. But he was charged with a seemingly unrelated crime under a rarely invoked federal statute that makes it illegal

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Make domestic terrorism a federal crime: FBI Agents Association

FBI Director Shoots Back, Insisting Bureau Shared Intel Ahead of Capitol Insurrection .
FBI Director Christopher Wray, pushing back against the Capitol and D.C. police, insisted on Tuesday that his agents shared intelligence with them “in three ways” ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection. Making his first substantial public comments on the FBI’s performance since an attack he called “domestic terrorism,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI had provided a now-infamous “situational information report” from its Norfolk bureau to D.C.

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