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 ThompsonHillicon Valley: Trump turns up heat on Apple over gunman's phone | Mnuchin says Huawei won't be 'chess piece' in trade talks | Dems seek briefing on Iranian cyber threats | Buttigieg loses cyber chief House Democrats request briefings on Iranian cyber threats from DHS, FCC Democrats sound election security alarm after Russia's Burisma hack MORE (D-Miss.) said in a letter to committee Chairman Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulTop Indian official canceled congressional meeting over inclusion of Jayapal: report Republican group asks 'what is Trump hiding' in Times Square billboard Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' 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.