Attorney General Revives Domestic Terrorism Group, and Far Right Goes Wild
After letting a special unit devoted to monitoring domestic terrorism fall dormant following the Al Qaeda attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced this week that it was reviving the group. The Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee will focus on extremists motivated by antigovernment and racial hatred, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Tuesday.
Predictably, pundits from the extreme conspiracist right, particularly antigovernment “Patriot” groups, worked themselves into a frenzy over the announcement, warning their followers that a “war on the white man” was about to come down from the Obama administration. A similar reaction greeted the 2009 leak of a report from the Department of Homeland Security that focused on the domestic radical right, with right-wing groups describing it as an attack on the political conservatives.
In his statement announcing the DOJ committee’s revival, Holder noted that this decision comes after more than a decade of focus on the threat of international terrorists, while a number of recent incidents have underscored that they are not the only threat. “We must also concern ourselves with the continued danger we face from individuals within our own borders who may be motivated by a variety of other causes from anti-government animus to racial prejudice,” Holder said.