WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden‘s administration is being pressed by a key Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Elissa Slotkin, to contemplate designating white supremacist teams overseas as overseas terrorists topic to US authorities actions.
If Biden’s administration have been to take the unprecedented step of itemizing such teams as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), or perhaps a much less-stringent designation, it could assist curb harmful white supremacist organizations, Slotkin argued within the letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, which was reviewed by Reuters.
“It would also give the United States Government more tools to engage and flag the Americans who contact, support, train, and join these (white supremacist extremist) groups,” mentioned Slotkin, a former CIA analyst who chairs a US House subcommittee specializing in intelligence and counterterrorism.
The State Department declined remark. Slotkin’s request has not been beforehand reported.
Slotkin requested the State Department to contemplate itemizing over a dozen organizations together with the neo-Nazi National Action Group, based in Britain and banned there in 2016. It was described in a 2018 US counter-terrorism report as a terrorist group selling violence towards politicians and minorities.
She additionally named the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, which the report described as an anti-Western transnational group behind violent assaults, together with towards Muslims and left-wing teams.
Slotkin has a novel perspective on the risk posed by violent extremism. She served three excursions in Iraq as a CIA militia knowledgeable and was a senior Pentagon official earlier than being elected to Congress in 2018. As a lawmaker, Slotkin’s has turned her focus to home extremism.
Her Michigan district noticed regulation enforcement disrupt a plot final 12 months to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat.
“These plotters weren’t affiliated with al Qaeda or ISIS. They didn’t hail from a war-torn region halfway around the world – they were Americans. They were white. And they were radicalized right here at home,” Slotkin mentioned at a latest listening to.
Most deadly risk
The Biden administration has signaled it’s ready to take a stronger strategy to combating violent home extremists – particularly white supremacists, which the FBI sees as the highest risk inside that group.
Department of Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas informed lawmakers final month that home violent extremism “poses the most lethal and persistent terrorism-related threat to the homeland today.”
Since 2018, white supremacists have carried out extra deadly assaults within the United States than every other home violent extremist motion, the division mentioned in an October report.
Particularly regarding are the worldwide connections amongst white supremacist teams, with members drawing inspiration from one another for assaults world wide, mentioned Ryan Greer, nationwide safety director on the Anti-Defamation League, a company opposing anti-Semitism and different discrimination.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence mentioned in a report final month that “a small number” of U.S. racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists “have traveled abroad to network with like-minded individuals.”
The State Department took a primary step final 12 months towards placing strain on white supremacists overseas by designating the Russian Imperial Movement and three of its leaders Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).
It was the primary-ever such designation.
Slotkin welcomed this step however wrote: “It’s time for more to be done.”
Beyond the National Action Group and Nordic Resistance Movement, Slotkin referred to as for consideration of FTO designations for teams together with Atomwaffen Division Deutschland, Blood & Honour, Combat 18, Feuerkrieg Division, Generation Identity, Northern Order, Order of Nine Angles and the Sonnenkrieg Division.
“If these groups do not meet the more stringent FTO criteria, I ask that you designate these groups as SDGTs,” she wrote.
The State Department says an FTO designation permits for actions that SDGTs don’t, together with making it a criminal offense to knowingly present materials them help.