The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act gives a Congressional seal of approval to some of the worst aspects of the domestic war on terror. It would actually harm the vulnerable communities it purports to protect.
The bill would codify the category of “Homegrown Violent Extremism,” by creating a Muslim exception to domestic terrorism. It is an illegitimate category designed to distort domestic criminal acts into international terrorism.
The bill also would require the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, and DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis to have Domestic Terrorism Units. All three agencies already handle domestic terrorism and domestic terrorism investigations are handled by the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.
The FBI has labeled white collar fraud carried out by sovereign citizens, the freeing of minks by animal rights activists, and vandalism by both anti-war and animal rights activists as “domestic terrorism.” Putting such minor crimes in a unit involving the pursuit of international actors like al-Qaeda is a recipe for civil liberties disasters.
This bill is ill-considered and will only harm the communities it purports to protect.
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