The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would strengthen the federal government’s efforts to prevent, report on, respond to, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism by authorizing offices dedicated to combating this threat; requiring these offices to regularly assess this threat; and providing training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing it.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Assistant Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Katherine Clark (MA-5) voted to pass the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (DTPA), legislation to strengthen the federal government’s efforts to prevent, report on, respond to, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism. In the wake of the January 6 Insurrection, the DTPA would combat the growing threat of domestic violent extremist groups and individuals including racially/ethnically motivated violent extremists and white supremacist groups, by authorizing domestic terrorism offices within the Department of Justice Department (DOJ), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and requiring biannual reporting on the state of domestic terrorism threats. The legislation is led by Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) and a Senate companion bill is led by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).
“In September 2020, FBI Director Christopher Wray called domestic violent extremists the greatest threat to national security – since then, we have seen the threat evolve, leading to a deadly mass shooting in Buffalo just a few days ago,” said Assistant Speaker Clark. “As legislators, protecting the safety of the American people, and our democracy, must be our number one priority, and I’m proud to provide our federal agencies with necessary resources to combat the growing threat of domestic terrorism.”
The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would require the newly authorized domestic terrorism offices to focus their limited resources on the most significant threats, as determined by the number of domestic terrorism-related incidents outlined in the joint report. The intent of the legislation is to better equip these agencies and enable them to work together to effectively identify risks and successfully thwart domestic terror threats.
The bill better equips agencies to handle this identified threat and thwart it. The bill also requires these offices to provide Congress with joint biannual reports assessing the state of domestic terrorism threats, with a specific focus on white supremacists. Based on the data collected, DTPA requires these offices to focus their resources on the most significant threats.
In addition, the DTPA would codify the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee that would coordinate with United States Attorneys and other public safety officials to promote information sharing and ensure an effective, responsive, and organized joint effort to combat domestic terrorism. The legislation requires DOJ, FBI, and DHS to provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in understanding, detecting, deterring, and investigating acts of domestic terrorism and white supremacy. Finally, DTPA directs DHS, DOJ, FBI, and the Department of Defense to establish an interagency task force to combat white supremacist infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement.
The legislation is nearly identical to the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020 that was endorsed by a broad coalition, including the Anti-Defamation League, Arab American Institute, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, Human Rights Campaign, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Muslim Advocates, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Sikh Coalition, Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, Jewish Federation of Chicago, and Unidos.