On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that President Biden ordered three US intelligence agencies to review the threat of “domestic violent extremism.” Since pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the US Capitol building on January 6th, calls to combat “domestic terrorism” have been growing.
Before January 6th, Biden’s transition team had said they were planning to pass laws against domestic terrorism, and the Capitol incident has made it a top priority.
“The January 6th assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known. The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat,” Psaki said.
Psaki went on to outline the first steps the Biden administration is taking. She said Biden ordered the newly confirmed Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to conduct a threat assessment along with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
Psaki said the assessment will produce a “fact-based analysis on which we can shape policy.” In addition to the intelligence analysis, the National Security Council is being tasked with finding ways to disrupt “extremist networks.”
It’s not clear if the assessment will lead to US government agencies being granted new authorities to counter domestic terrorism.
Congress is onboard with prioritizing domestic threats. Earlier this week, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act was introduced in the House with bipartisan sponsors. The bill would establish offices within the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the Justice Department to combat domestic terrorism.