National Security

DHS reassigns analysts in unit focused on domestic terror: report

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reportedly reassigned intelligence analysts who were part of an agency unit focused on combating domestic terrorism.

The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that a team of analysts focused on homegrown extremists were reassigned to different teams within the Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) department.

{mosads}DHS officials told the news outlet that the analysts would remain focused on domestic terrorism while working in different positions.

“I&A has invested heavily in interagency relationships to enhance analysis on Homeland threats, including domestic terrorism, where I&A lacks access to relevant case data and information held by other federal agencies,” David Glawe, head of Intelligence and Analysis, told the publication.

In a subsequent statement to The Hill, Glawe dismissed the notion that the change in assignments is a sign of decreased commitment to fighting homegrown terrorists.

“The idea presented by some that we have cut our commitment to defeating all forms of radical ideology — including white supremacist and domestic terrorist — is patently false and the exact opposite of what we have done,” Glawe said. “The Office of Intelligence and Analysis has significantly increased tactical intelligence reporting on domestic terrorists and homegrown violent extremists since 2016.”

“The same people are working on the issues,” a DHS official told the Daily Beast. “We just restructured things to be more responsive to the I&A customers within DHS and in local communities while reducing overlap with what the FBI does. We actually believe we are far more effective now.”

Local law enforcement officials told The Daily Beast that communications from I&A have reduced in number over the past year as DHS appears to be shifting priorities away from dealing with domestic terror threats.

“It’s changed with the new administration. It doesn’t seem to be as robust, as active, as important — it is important, I’m sure, but it’s not a priority,” Sgt. Mike Abdeen of the Los Angeles County sheriffs told the news outlet. “It doesn’t seem like engagement, outreach, and prevention are seen as a priority as we used to see in the past. There were roundtable meetings in the past, there was more activity, more training, more seminars. Now it seems like it’s gone away.”

John Cohen, I&A’s former lead officer, told The Daily Beast he doesn’t believe any reduction in the threat of homegrown terror has occurred that would warrant a change in the agency’s resources.

“While I cannot speak to what is going on at DHS I&A today, the analysis provided by I&A personnel on domestic extremism was essential during my tenure at DHS,” Cohen told the news outlet. “Based on the current threat environment, I believe those same efforts are essential today.”

Updated at 3:45 p.m.

Tags domestic terrorism Homeland security

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