Justice Dept. creates new position to fight domestic terrorism

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced an expanded effort to clamp down on domestic terrorism by creating a new Domestic Terrorism Counsel in the agency, which will coordinate all the department's efforts.

"The new DT Counsel will not only help ensure that DT cases are properly coordinated, but will also play a key role in our headquarters-level efforts to identify trends to help shape our strategy, and to analyze legal gaps or enhancements required to ensure we can combat these threats," Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said in speech at a Southern Poverty Law Center event in Washington.

"Earlier this year, we honored and remembered the victims of the horrific Oklahoma City bombing on the 20th anniversary of that devastating attack," he added. "Less than two months after the anniversary, we again saw unimaginable violence motivated by hate. A young man killed nine African-American men and women attending a bible class in Charleston. ... A senseless, racist act."

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The attorney will work with the recently re-established Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee. That group was originally created after the Oklahoma City bombing, but fell by the wayside during the last decade as Justice focused intensely on international terrorism. It was re-instituted in June 2014.

"[The DTEC] met regularly and it was scheduled to meet on Sept. 11, 2001, but due to the events of that day, that meeting never took place. Fortunately, in recognition of the importance of combating domestic terrorism, the department re-established the DTEC last June," Carlin said.

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