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The lack of ability of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this week to call a single case of home terrorism that his division has referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution has outraged Republicans and amplified their requires Mayorkas to resign or be impeached.
During testimony earlier than the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Mayorkas reaffirmed his evaluation that “domestic violent extremism represents the greatest terrorism-related threat to the homeland.”
Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., pressed Mayorkas for knowledge on any referrals he has made to the DOJ on the grounds of home terrorism. Mayorkas didn’t provide any, saying he would offer it after the listening to.
Steube instructed Fox News Digital he hasn’t heard again from DHS, and he is uncertain he’ll ever get a response.
In interviews with a number of GOP lawmakers following the testy trade, Republicans accused the Biden Administration of overstating and even fabricating the specter of home terrorism as a technique to keep away from the true challenge of the surge of migrant border crossings which have reached traditionally excessive numbers.
“It tells you that they haven’t referred anybody from Homeland Security to DOJ on domestic terrorism or White nationalism-related charges,” Steube instructed Fox News Digital. “And it just goes to show you that the narrative that the Biden administration is trying to create that the No. 1 threat to the homeland is White nationalism and domestic terrorism isn’t true.”
Steube helps Mayorkas’ impeachment if the GOP retakes Congress.
“They’re trying to avoid the clear threat to our democracy and to the safety and security of American people at the southern border,” Steube mentioned.
DHS didn’t reply to requests for remark from Fox News Digital in search of knowledge on home terrorism legal referrals and additional data on the DHS evaluation that home terrorism is a higher risk to the homeland than the surge of immigrants on the border.
There had been greater than 1.7 million migrant encounters in FY 2021, and FY 2022 is on tempo to exceed that, with what is anticipated to be greater than 1 million encounters within the first six months of the fiscal 12 months alone. At least 23 individuals coming throughout the southern border in 2021 had been on the fear watch checklist.
“Democrats are absolutely gaslighting the American people,” Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., mentioned of Mayorkas’ home terrorism claims. “I do not believe that is the biggest threat to our homeland. Our biggest threat is the southern border and the invasion that is taking place.”
Rep. Jim Banks, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, accused President Biden’s homeland safety chief of spreading falsehoods. Banks already led a letter with 130 fellow Republicans, together with GOP management, that questioned Mayorkas’ “suitability for office.”
“The Biden administration continues to shamelessly lie to the American people and uses ‘disinformation’ as a label to slander and discredit their critics,” Banks, R-Ind., mentioned in an announcement to Fox News Digital. “Mayorkas’s lack of ability to sight a single case of White supremacist terrorism, regardless of claiming it’s the one biggest risk to the nation, is precisely why DHS has created a brand new ‘Disinformation Governance Board.'”
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry, R-Pa., scolded Mayorkas for focusing more on U.S. citizens than the “criminals and potential terrorists” crossing the border.
“His goal is to stigmatize Democrat political opponents by accusing them of being domestic terrorists but couldn’t identify a single prosecution referral made to the Justice Department,” Perry instructed Fox News Digital. “He should be securing our nation from the invasion on our southern border and protecting Americans, instead of acting as the handmaiden for the messaging machine of the radical left.”
During the listening to, Mayorkas touted efforts to root out home terrorism, together with creating a brand new Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) to assist communities forestall radicalization to violence and designating home violent extremism as a nationwide precedence space in FEMA grant applications. He additionally touted the creation of a devoted home terrorism department throughout the Department’s Office of Intelligence & Analysis that “has been disseminating an unprecedented level of information and intelligence” to state and native companions to counter threats.
“We remain vigilant against all forms of terrorism and targeted violence,” Mayorkas mentioned. “The nature of these threats has evolved, but our vigilance and resolve are constant.”
Mayorkas isn’t alone in his evaluation that home violent extremism is the best terrorism associated risk to the homeland. Other high-ranking officers within the Biden administration and congressional Democrats have shared the identical message.
Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray have testified earlier than Congress that home violent extremist teams, together with White supremacists, pose a rising risk to the United States.
“The threat of lethality is higher than it ever was … I have not seen a more dangerous threat to democracy than the invasion of the U.S. Capitol” on Jan. 6, Garland instructed a Senate committee in May, in accordance with Reuters.
Wray mentioned in September 2021 the FBI has “surged” assets to deal with a rising caseload, which has jumped from about 1,000 investigations within the spring of 2020 to about 2,700 investigations.
Wray mentioned in congressional testimony the best terrorist risk within the U.S. is from lone actors. That contains homegrown jihadists espousing ISIS ideologies, as nicely as home violent extremists “radicalized by personalized grievances ranging from racial and ethnic bias to anti-government, anti-authority sentiment to conspiracy theories,” he mentioned.
Wray categorized the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol as “domestic terrorism.”
Though Mayorkas did not point out this in his response to Steube Thursday, the Homeland Security chief beforehand pointed to the “repeated and chronic bomb threats” towards Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as motive for concern. In speaking about the specter of home violent extremism earlier this month, Mayorkas additional specified that “the most prominent threat is the threat of White supremacists.”
This 12 months, greater than one-third of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have obtained bomb threats, in accordance with the White House. No explosive units had been discovered, however the campus disruptions and the fears the threats generated prompted the Biden Administration to announce new granting funding in March to HBCUs starting from $50,000 to $150,000 per college affected.
The FBI has investigated at the very least 59 threats of violence towards HBCUs, together with Howard University, because the starting of the 12 months, in accordance with Inside Higher Ed. The threats are categorized as racially motivated violent extremism and hate crimes, in accordance with the FBI.
“This investigation is of the highest priority for the Bureau,” the FBI mentioned in February.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., agrees with Mayorkas that home violent extremism represents the best terrorism risk to the homeland. His committee has held hearings analyzing the home terrorism risk, together with towards Black church buildings and faculties.
Thompson’s workplace factors to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) 2022 official risk evaluation report that mentioned lone wolves and small terrorist cells motivated by numerous ideologies “probably present the greatest terrorist threat to the United States,” together with racial/ethnic violent extremism and militia extremism.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., shares an analogous concern. He opened the Mayorkas listening to on Thursday sounding the alarm on home terrorism.
“America faces a multitude of challenges,” Nadler mentioned Thursday. “But one of the greatest modern threats to our homeland is the danger posed by violent far-right extremists and White supremacists.”
Nadler added that “2020 had the highest number of domestic terror incidents and plots in over 30 years; 66% of those were by White supremacists, extremist militia members and other violent far-right extremists.”
But Texas GOP Rep. August Pfluger, a former Air Force fighter pilot and former nationwide safety adviser to President Trump, mentioned the American individuals simply do not imagine the Biden administration’s risk evaluation.
“His testimony in front of Congress was absolutely shameful,” Pfluger instructed Fox News Digital. “He should be deployed to the southern border right now.”
Pfluger, who has referred to as for Mayorkas’ resignation, mentioned the urgent threats usually are not from home White supremacists, however from Russia, China, cyberattacks and folks on the fear watch checklist coming throughout the southern border.
“I’ve spent my entire professional career analyzing threats, fighting against those threats [and] strategizing how to put our country into a better position to deter those [threats],” Pfluger mentioned. “It’s 100% political narrative. At what point in time is Secretary Mayorkas going to put patriotism over politics?”