- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said Tuesday the FBI has seen a notable uptick in domestic terrorism investigations this year.

“The number of open FBI domestic terrorism investigations this year has increased significantly,” Mr. Garland said during a policy address. “In the FBI’s view, the top domestic violent extremist threat comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocated for superiority of the white race.”

Mr. Garland added that the threat of militia violence increased last year and will “almost certainly continue to be elevated throughout 2021.”

His comments came hours after the Biden administration unveiled its national domestic terrorism plan.

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.

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.

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Mr. Garland noted that more than 480 people have been arrested and charged for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. 

“That would have not been possible without the dedication of our career prosecutors and agents, as well as the critical cooperation of ordinary Americans who — in acts large and small — have shown that they are our best partners in keeping America safe,” Mr. Garland said.

The Justice Department still has “an enormous task ahead” with the arrests and prosecutions, he said.

• Jeff Mordock contributed to this report.

• Emily Zantow can be reached at ezantow@washingtontimes.com.

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