Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenen condemned the rise of home terrorism and white supremacy as “abhorrent” throughout a discussion board on faith-based violence on Tuesday morning.
“Domestic terrorism has a broad and expansive impact on American citizens and our national climate,” McAleenan mentioned. “These attacks not only end lives, they degrade our society and diminish the integrity of our national values.”
McAleenan remarks got here through the first public assembly of Homeland Security’s subcommittee on the prevention of focused violence in opposition to the faith-based neighborhood, which was created earlier this yr. The discussion board befell in Jackson, Mississippi and included remark from native regulation enforcement and spiritual leaders.
“I am concerned about the white supremacist extremist increases and the growing attacks, especially those we’ve seen on houses of worship. I absolutely agree it’s a problem and we need to work to address it,” he mentioned.
McAleenan’s feedback observe two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio that killed no less than 31 individuals inside 24 hours. The Homeland Security chief said that the assault in El Paso, which left 22 individuals dead, was “motivated by a poisonous and destructive white supremacist extremist ideology.”
The alleged El Paso gunman is believed to have authored a racist, anti-Hispanic manifesto which was revealed on-line earlier than the taking pictures. The doc expressed hatred towards immigrants and the Latino neighborhood. Some of the language within the manifesto echoed President Donald Trump’s personal rhetoric towards immigration.
The Department of Justice is treating the El Paso taking pictures as a case of home terrorism. The DOJ can also be “seriously considering” federal hate crime fees in response to the assault, which may end result within the loss of life penalty.
McAleenan mentioned on Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security has “redoubled” their efforts to fight white supremacy and different types of home terrorism. In an interview earlier this month, McAleenan admitted that the company wanted to “invest more — no question” when it got here to countering these threats.
Shortly earlier than the mass shootings occurred, FBI Director Christopher Wray informed Congress that home terrorism was simply as equal a menace as worldwide terrorism. According to Wray, the Bureau has made about 100 arrests associated to home terrorism within the first three quarters of 2019 and a majority of these circumstances have been motivated by white supremacy.
In the wake of the tragedies, Trump mentioned the nation wanted to “racism, bigotry and white supremacy.” He additionally informed reporters he is “concerned” in regards to the rise of any hate group whether or not it is white supremacy or Antifa. But critics say he hasn’t gone far sufficient to sentence white supremacy.
Former Texas congressman and 2020 Democratic hopeful Beto O’Rourke continues to lash out in opposition to Trump and partly blames the president’s rhetoric for the lethal assault.
“We’ve had a rise in hate crimes every single one of the last three years, during an administration where you have a president who’s called Mexicans rapists and criminals,” O’Rourke informed reporters. “He is a racist, and he stokes racism in this country.”