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U.S. lays out plan to confront white supremacist violence

WorldJun 15, 2021 05:51PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A helicopter flies above the U.S. Capitol during the dress rehearsal ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration in Washington, U.S., January 18, 2021. Rod Lamkey/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

By Jarrett Renshaw and Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) - President Joe Biden's administration on Tuesday unveiled a plan to address the threat of violence posed by white supremacists and militias, five months after members of those groups joined in a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The White House released a 30-page plan for increased information sharing between federal and local officials and social media companies, additional resources to identify and prosecute threats and new deterrents to prevent Americans from joining dangerous groups.

The administration conducted a sweeping assessment earlier this year of domestic terrorism that labeled white supremacists and militia groups as top national security threats. The issue took on new urgency after a Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump who were trying to overturn Biden's election victory.

The new strategy stopped short of calling for new laws to fight domestic threats, and officials on Tuesday did not offer many details on specific new resources.

"We concluded that we didn't have the evidentiary basis, yet, to decide whether we wanted to proceed in that direction or whether we have sufficient authority as it currently exists at the federal level," said a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the announcement.

In a speech on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in the "coming days and months" he would convene an interagency task force dedicated to combating domestic terrorism. Garland said he has already "begun to reinvigorate" that task force.

Garland said the Jan. 6 attack by Trump supporters had shown white supremacists and militia groups to be the country's greatest domestic security threat.

"In the FBI's view, the top domestic violent extremist threat comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocated for the superiority of the white race," Garland said.

In his budget proposal released last month, Biden, who succeeded Trump on Jan. 20, sought $100 million in additional funding to train and hire analysts and prosecutors to disrupt and deter terrorist activity.

"The threat is elevated," the administration official said. "Tackling it means ensuring that we do have the resources and personnel to address that elevated threat."

The administration is also toughening the federal government's screening methods to better identify employees who may pose insider threats. They are looking to share those techniques with private companies.

That effort includes an ongoing review by the Department of Defense over how and when to remove military members who are found to be engaged in known domestic terrorist groups.

The Defense Department review is looking at, among other things, how to define extremists, the senior administration official said.

"They are doing this in a way they feel ratchets up the protection but also respects expression and association protections," the official said.

U.S. lays out plan to confront white supremacist violence
 

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Comments (24)
William Smith
William Smith Jun 16, 2021 8:37PM ET
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Once again the American hating leftists that control the country are gaslighting with the help of their American hating leftist propagandists in the press.
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Jun 16, 2021 8:37PM ET
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Calm down there sport
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Jun 16, 2021 11:05AM ET
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First come up with an imaginary threat. We saw this happen in 1930's Germany.
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Jun 16, 2021 11:05AM ET
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Please shut it
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Jun 16, 2021 11:04AM ET
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The first step, finding a shred of evidence that "White Supremacist" violence exists, is turning out to be difficult.
Duane Goodson
Duane Goodson Jun 16, 2021 3:13AM ET
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BLM can burn cities to the ground but the media insists white supremacists are the monster.
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Jun 16, 2021 3:13AM ET
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Right wing media spent plenty of hours demonizing BLM
Mark Stallone
Mark Stallone Jun 16, 2021 1:21AM ET
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Yet they still haven't provided any examples of this "White Supremacist" violence. What exactly is their definition of a white supremacist? I think they're getting BLM and Antifa mixed up with "white supremacist".
Ruud Emordi
Ruud Emordi Jun 16, 2021 12:54AM ET
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Give them there own country, let us see how well they are going to run it. Blue against Red states, we know who the takers are.
Mark Stallone
Mark Stallone Jun 16, 2021 12:54AM ET
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Who are "them"? Who exactly in this country is a "White Supremacist"? What acts of violence have they committed?
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Jun 15, 2021 11:06PM ET
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That is hilarious.
Malcolm Gibson
Malcolm Gibson Jun 15, 2021 6:51PM ET
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lies, lies, lies! this is all about power! Suddenly, there are white supremacists everywhere? do believe this ********
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 15, 2021 6:14PM ET
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Kelly Mayer you didn't believe your lying eyes.. what the world saw and heard on Jan 6, from the insurrectionists the far right militias and the rioters waving the Confederate battle flag, the flag of treason and slavery, tells a different story. this isn't a game. these people want an end to our Constitution and replaced with a fascist regime run by Trump, a well known supporter of rascism and white privilege.
Frederick Chotsky
Chotsky Jun 15, 2021 6:14PM ET
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Hey, let's go to the supermarket together. Let's buy some tin foil, and I'll make you a hat.
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Jun 15, 2021 4:54PM ET
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Getting people to play the race war theatrics. Only works with racists or victims of abuse. Usually these want to recruit everyone else to their holy war agains the perceived abusers. It's either with them or against them. This BLM/White Sup move is only about exploiting mental illness. There were no issues when the US got 8yrs of Obama. Don't let the rad left create reality for you while they milk you dey for your attention and money. Keeping you distracted is the aim. Life will pass you by.
 
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