US U.S. spike in domestic terrorism 'keeps me up at night,' attorney general says
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asked Congress on Tuesday to provide more funding for investigating and prosecuting domestic terrorism, saying it poses an "accelerating" threat that keeps him up at night.
Garland, who had served as a federal appellate judge and federal prosecutor before President Joe Biden nominated him to lead the Justice Department, was testifying about the department's budget request for the 2022 fiscal year.
"We have a growing fear of domestic violent extremism and domestic terrorism," Garland told a U.S. House of Representatives budgeting subcommittee. "Both of those keep me up at night."
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He did not name specific violent groups, but members of the far-right Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are among the more than 400 people arrested for the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by former President Donald Trump's supporters.
The hearing marked Garland's first appearance before Congress since being confirmed as the nation's top law enforcement officer in March.
He told the House panel that the lethality of weapons available to both foreign and domestic terrorists has increased, and that the Justice Department is "putting its resources into defending the country with respect to both".
"We have an emerging and accelerating threat," Garland said.
He highlighted in his opening remarks that the Justice Department is requesting $85 million in additional funding from Congress to bolster its efforts to combat domestic terrorism.
Garland said the department is also seeking a “historic investment" of $1 billion in its Office of Violence Against Women, and that the budget proposal includes a $232 million increase in funding to help combat gun violence.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Scott Malone and Mark Heinrich)
'White supremacy is terrorism': Biden urges vigilance against home-grown violence after Jan. 6 attack .
Biden noted that global terror networks had largely moved beyond Afghanistan and white supremacists posed a bigger threat than foreign actors. "We won't ignore what our intelligence agencies have determined to be the most lethal terrorist threat to our homeland today: White supremacy is terrorism,” Biden cautionedStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning. Biden made his comments while speaking in House chamber, which just three months ago was infiltrated by a pro-Trump mob in an effort to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.