Joe Biden’s domestic terrorism crusade against white supremacists backfires on minority groups

Civil rights leaders are warning that President Biden’s domestic counterterrorism technique aimed toward rooting out white supremacy harms minority communities and people expressing political dissent.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the nation’s largest civil rights group, is asking on the White House to cut back its first-ever National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism. They say it has resulted in an excessively broad definition of “terrorism” and offers federal authorities an excessive amount of investigative leeway.

“This discretion, and an expansive view of what counts as ‘terrorism,’ has resulted in the targeting of communities of color and political dissent,” the group mentioned of their current report on confronting white supremacist violence.

Mr. Biden final year introduced his sweeping technique to take care of threats that, in keeping with the administration, emerge from “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists and networks whose racial, ethnic, or religious hatred leads them towards violence.”

The Department of Homeland Security deemed the specter of “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists” a “national threat priority.”

In January, the Justice Department shaped a specialised unit to fight domestic terrorism, saying FBI investigations into violent extremism have greater than doubled since March 2020.

But the Leadership Conference mentioned Mr. Biden’s technique, whereas aimed toward white supremacist groups, “obscures the threat of white supremacist violence, hiding it under categories such as ‘racially motivated violent extremism,’” which they are saying has been used to focus on these angered by racial injustice.

The senior director for the Leadership Conferences’ Fighting Hate and Bias Initiative, Nadia Aziz, warned that below the technique, the Biden administration dangers reverting to previous flawed approaches to combatting terrorism.

“One of [the] things we’re trying to highlight, without necessarily saying it, is that we do not need a new war on terror,” Ms. Aziz informed The Washington Post. “We should not use the same framework, the same rules, that were used in post-9/11 framework, in which we saw tremendous harm in some communities.”

Mr. Biden’s strategy has additionally raised issues amongst Republican lawmakers, who accuse the administration of ignoring left-wing violence and leveraging fears of right-wing terrorism to focus on political opponents and stifle official debate.

Citing FBI whistleblower complaints, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the highest Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, says federal brokers have been pressured to reclassify instances as “domestic violent extremism” to meet the Biden administration’s crusade against home-grown terrorism.

The FBI denies focusing on groups or folks primarily based on their espoused political opinions and says the bureau focuses solely on these “who commit or intend to commit violence and criminal activity that constitutes a federal crime or poses a threat to national security.”

“The FBI aggressively investigates threats posed by domestic violent extremists,” an FBI spokesperson mentioned. “We do not investigate ideology, and we do not investigate particular cases based on the political views of the individuals involved. The FBI will continue to pursue threats or acts of violence, regardless of the underlying motivation or sociopolitical goal.”

Mr. Jordan mentioned whistleblower allegations that the FBI is “padding” its information on domestic violent extremism investigations add to others “concerning the politicization of the FBI” that his fellow Republicans on the committee are investigating.

“These whistleblower allegations that the FBI is padding its domestic violent extremist data cheapens actual examples of violent extremism,” Mr. Jordan wrote to FBI Director Christopher A. Wray in July. “This information also reinforces our concerns—about which we have written to you several times — regarding the FBI’s politicization under your leadership.”

“It appears instead that the FBI is more focused on classifying investigations to meet a woke left-wing agenda,” Mr. Jordan mentioned.

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