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April 26, 2016

GOP Bill Ignores Domestic Terrorism Threat

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 4820, the so-called “Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act” – legislation that is being misleadingly sold as enhancing the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts against terrorist propaganda but actually is nothing more than a politically charged bill that ignores the totality of the terrorist threats we face. By repeatedly refusing to include any mention of domestic terrorism in this bill, Republicans are advancing a measure that walks away from the Obama Administration’s comprehensive approach to countering violent extremism.

Unfortunately, this legislation ignores these facts:

  • Since September 11, 2001, 48 people within the U.S. have been killed by domestic terrorists while 45 people within the U.S have been killed by those inspired by foreign terrorist organizations. 
  • Incidents of domestic terrorism have been on the rise in recent years.
  • A recent survey found that state and local law enforcement personnel are almost twice as concerned about right-wing and anti-government terrorism as they are about the threat from al-Qaeda.
  • The Administration’s 2011 Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) strategy recognizes that the threat posed by violent extremism is not limited to a single ideology and that those who want to do us harm are inspired by a range of religious, political, or other ideological beliefs.

Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement opposing the bill:

“Unfortunately, there has been a great deal of misinformation circulating to hide the true intent of this bill. We know that domestic terror groups, just like foreign terrorist organizations, recruit and spread propaganda through social media and online platforms. In recent years, from Boston to Charleston, we have seen individuals—operating within our communities and living among us—plot to inflict mass harm in the name of a violent extremist and hateful ideology. This bill ignores the fact that domestic terror groups, just like foreign terrorist organizations, kill Americans and are a threat to the homeland. Countering violent extremism should be our top priority and we have a duty to ensure that our efforts to stop this extremism are focused on all terrorist threats – foreign and domestic. I urge my colleagues to reject this bill and support the Administration’s current efforts to prevent violent extremism in all its forms.”

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978