Dem demands House hearing on domestic terror in wake of Charleston

Dem demands House hearing on domestic terror in wake of Charleston

The top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee wants his panel to hold hearings on domestic terrorism, in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting in Charleston, S.C.

“The carnage of June 17 did not occur in some far-off land,” Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonCapitol Police chief says threats against lawmakers increasing Pro-impeachment Democrats wary of Al Green's floor vote push Hillicon Valley: FTC reportedly settles with Facebook for B fine | Trump calls to regulate Facebook's crypto project | Court rules Pentagon can award B 'war cloud' contract | Study shows automation will hit rural areas hardest MORE (D-Miss.) said in a letter to committee Chairman Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulPopulation shifts set up huge House battleground Overnight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran MORE (R-Texas). 

“It occurred on American soil and was perpetrated by an American whom we have no reason to believe was influenced by a foreign terrorist organization.”

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Last week’s shooting at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which killed nine, has reignited a debate about domestic terrorism.

Many critics — especially on the left — have grown concerned that the threat from far-right white supremacists and anti-government groups has been overshadowed by the possibility of violence from Islamic extremists.

Analysis from the New America Foundation found that nearly twice as many Americans in the U.S. have died in attacks by domestic extremists as from Islamic fanatics in the years since Sept. 11, 2001. 

“To date, the committee has had three oversight hearings on how the overseas-based terrorist organizations spread extremist propaganda to radicalize and recruit,” Thompson told McCaul in the letter released Wednesday. “However, we have not, as a committee, examined how the same channels are being exploited by groups intending to carry out domestic terrorism.”

Last week’s attack was allegedly carried out by a white supremacist, who appeared to specifically target the historic black church.

The Justice Department has launched a terrorism investigation into the attack.

In his letter, Thompson said he wanted to hear testimony from officials at the departments of Homeland Security and Justice.