- The Washington Times
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Biden administration unveiled an aggressive plan Tuesday for federal agencies to crack down on the threat of domestic terrorism and White supremacists.

The four-pronged plan calls for increasing the number of prosecutors and intelligence analysts, bolstering the screening of government employees for ties to extremist groups, improving information sharing with social media and better cooperation among federal agencies. 

“This is a project that should unite all Americans,” President Biden said in a statement. “Together, we must affirm that domestic terrorism has no place in our society. We must work to root out the hatreds that can too often drive violence.”

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The plan is the culmination of the administration’s review of how federal agencies should handle domestic terrorism in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to unveil the plan in greater detail Tuesday.

But administration officials released some of the steps recommended by national security experts to crack down on domestic terrorism.

As part of the plan, the administration has allocated $100 million in the proposed 2022 budget to increase staffing at the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to screen existing employees who could pose an insider threat.

Officials at the Pentagon, Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security have already launched an effort to remove domestic terrorists from the military and law enforcement.

The plan also calls for the improved sharing of threat information across all levels of government. A Senate report released last month found numerous intelligence failures ahead of the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Trump.

The FBI and other federal law enforcement have been widely criticized for not effectively passing along intelligence related to the Jan. 6 attack.

Defense Department officials will also look at how to define extremism, and the Treasury Department will strengthen its probes into whether international terrorist organizations are financing domestic extremist groups.

The plan does not call for a domestic terrorism law, which would give prosecutors more tools to charge terror suspects. Instead, the administration referred the issue to the Justice Department for further review.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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