FBI Agents Association calls on Congress to make 'domestic terrorism' a federal crime

FBI Agents Association calls on Congress to make 'domestic terrorism' a federal crime
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The FBI Agents Association (FBIAA), which represents more than 14,000 active and former bureau agents, called on Congress Tuesday to make domestic terrorism a federal crime.

“Domestic terrorism is a threat to the American people and our democracy. Acts of violence intended to intimidate civilian populations or to influence or affect government policy should be prosecuted as domestic terrorism regardless of the ideology behind them,” FBIAA President Brian O’Hare said in a statement.

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“FBIAA continues to urge Congress to make domestic terrorism a federal crime. This would ensure that FBI Agents and prosecutors have the best tools to fight domestic terrorism,” he added.

The statement came in the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that between them killed at least 31 people.

The suspect in the El Paso shooting has been tied to a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto posted online shortly before the attack.

The incidents have also led to scrutiny of what critics say is insufficient focus by the Trump administration on the threat posed by white supremacist violence.

In letters Monday, Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonTrump lawyers urge senators to swiftly acquit Trump in impeachment trial Hillicon Valley: Barr asks Apple to unlock Pensacola shooter's phone | Tech industry rallies behind Google in Supreme Court fight | Congress struggles to set rules for cyber warfare with Iran | Blog site Boing Boing hacked Congress struggles on rules for cyber warfare with Iran MORE (R-Wis.) and Gary PetersGary Charles PetersHillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Bipartisan group of senators introduces legislation to boost state cybersecurity leadership The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial MORE (D-Mich.) asked FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrParnas attorney asks William Barr to recuse himself from investigation Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Pentagon to place new restrictions, monitoring on foreign military students MORE for further information on how they track, categorize and share domestic terror-related information, noting that they failed to respond to an earlier letter in May.

“Since the date of our request, there have been numerous mass attacks, including Virginia Beach, VA; Gilroy, CA; El, Paso, TX; and Dayton, OH. ... These continued mass attacks make it clear that the federal government has more work to do in preventing domestic terrorism," the two wrote.