by Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON, Jan.11 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden’s administration is setting up a new unit within the Justice Department to fight domestic terrorism, a move that comes after the deadly assault in January 2021 by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
A senior US official made the announcement Tuesday during a hearing before the Senate Judicial Affairs Committee, noting that the United States faces a “high threat” from domestic extremists seeking to commit violent acts for political or social purposes.
“Violent extremists inside are often motivated by a mixture of ideologies and personal grievances. We see a growing threat from those who are motivated by racial animosity, as well as those who adhere to anti-extremist ideologies. government and anti-authority, ”said Matthew Olsen, a senior magistrate in the Justice Department’s national security division.
Last May, Federal Attorney General Merrick Garland said extremist groups like white supremacists pose a growing threat to the United States.
Matthew Olsen said the new unit would take place within the national security division and work to “ensure that these matters are handled properly and coordinated effectively” between departments and across the country.
More than 725 people have been charged in connection with the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol in Washington by hundreds of Donald Trump supporters seeking to prevent congressional certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory from November 2020. nL8N2TM018
Among the accused are members of extreme right-wing groups or militias, including the “Proud Boys”.
A senior FBI official told Congress last November that the federal agency was carrying out some 2,700 investigations related to domestic extremism.
(Sarah N. Lynch report; French version Jean Terzian, edited by Sophie Louet)