The Feds Need to Up Their Game Against Domestic Extremists, Critics Say


The Center on National Security at Fordham Law School was cited in a NBC News article that highlights the need for additional resources to assist law enforcement agencies in the fight against domestic terrorism.

In contrast, there is no domestic terrorism statute. Cases involving white supremacists are typically not prosecuted in federal courts under terrorism statutes because they don’t involve government-designated “foreign terrorist organizations.” They often land in state courts, becoming drug, fraud or murder cases, and frequently don’t get as much attention.

Law enforcement simply doesn’t have the same robust tool kit to address domestic terrorism that it can use to fight international terrorism, according to legal experts and former FBI agents interviewed for this article. Meanwhile, statistics compiled by a variety of groups that follow terror prosecutions show that in recent years, the U.S. has seen a growth in bias-related hate crimes and a decline in international terrorism cases.

According to the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, there were 84 indictments related to ISIS or Al Qaeda in 2015. The number of comparable indictments for 2018 was 15, a significant drop.

During the same time period, hate crimes and killings by white supremacists have spiked. Of the 50 murders carried out by extremists in the U.S. in 2018, 78 percent were carried out by white supremacists and one was carried out by an Islamist extremist, according to the ADL.

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