Garland listed several instances of domestic terrorism and violent extremism in the nation's recent history, including the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting, the congressional baseball shooting, the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, by White nationalists and far-right extremists, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and the mass shooting that occurred at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas."Such attacks are not only unspeakable tragedies for the victim's loved ones, they are also a tragedy for our country, an attack on our core ideals as a society," Garland said.
He continued: "We must not only bring our federal resources to bear, we must adopt a broader societal response to tackle the problem's deeper roots.""The domestic violent extremist threat is also rapidly evolving, as FBI Director (Christopher) Wray has noted, we continue to observe actors driven by a diverse set of violent motivations, sometimes personalized and developed from a mix of violent ideologies," Garland said.
The new strategy marks a major break from former President Donald Trump's administration and addresses more directly the threats posed by White supremacists and right-wing militia groups.The strategy focuses on providing a national framework for the US government and partners to share information related to domestic terrorism, preventing domestic terrorism recruitment and violent mobilization, disrupting and deterring domestic terrorism activity and confronting long term contributors to domestic terrorism.
President Joe Biden said earlier this month that White supremacy was "the most lethal threat to the homeland today," in a speech commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
"Since January 20th, the President has focused on addressing the elevated threat of domestic terrorism and he has been equally focused on ensuring our efforts to counter it take place in the context of upholding American civil rights and civil liberties," a senior administration official said.
The first pillar of the new strategy is to understand, analyze and share domestic terrorism related information with federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels as the Department of Justice and FBI has implemented a new system to track domestic terrorism cases nationwide.The second pillar involves a $77 million proposed budget within the Department of Homeland Security to prevent domestic terrorism, recruitment and mobilization to violence by working with communities to help them become more resilient to prevent individuals from ever reaching the point of committing terrorist violence.