Legislation moves to House floor as violence by white supremacist extremists in the U.S. have been increasingly linked to groups, individuals, or movements abroad
WASHINGTON, DC — February 16, 2020– The House Committee on Homeland Security unanimously advanced Congressman Max Rose’s Transnational White Supremacist Extremism Review Act (H.R. 5736) on February 12th, which directs the Department of Homeland Security to develop and disseminate a terrorist threat assessment of foreign violent white supremacist extremist groups. The legislation, which is endorsed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), will now be sent to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
“The surge in white supremacist extremist violence in the United States puts all of us at risk. There is mounting evidence that the threat to the homeland posed by violent white supremacist extremism has transnational links,” said Rose, Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism. “I believe that the threat posed by foreign white supremacist extremist groups and their nexus to domestic activity is one of the major challenges we face in terms of homeland security. This bill will take us one step closer to understanding this challenge and the threats we are increasingly facing.”
Rose penned a column published in the Yonkers Tribune last week with former FBI agent Ali Soufan on the threats posed by transnational violent white supremacist groups interconnected through networks here at home and across the world.
Researchers and experts have observed that the threat posed by violent white supremacist extremism is increasingly transnational in nature. Some white supremacist extremists have even traveled abroad to train in war zone environments: by one estimate, 17,000 individuals from 50 countries have traveled to battlefields in Ukraine to train and fight, including white supremacist extremists seeking training from neo-Nazi militant groups. In January 2020, Federal authorities arrested a Canadian national, a recruiter for a violent white supremacist extremist group, as he was allegedly planning violence at a gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia.
Violence by white supremacist extremists in the United States has been increasingly linked to groups, individuals, or movements abroad. Some individuals, like the perpetrators of 2019 attacks in El Paso, TX targeting Latinos and other people of color and Poway, CA targeting Jewish worshipers, drew inspiration from white supremacist attacks abroad. Others are members of groups that have formed networks to communicate and train, and in several cases have carried out acts of violence in the United States.
As Chair of the Intelligence and Counterterrorism (IC) Subcommittee, Rose has led oversight on this emerging threats of foreign violent white supremacist groups. In September 2019, IC Subcommittee Members received testimony on the threat posed by violent white supremacist extremists at home and abroad in a joint hearing with the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism. In October 2019, Rose led a letter with 40 Members of Congress to the Secretary of State demanding answers as to why white supremacist extremist groups are not included on the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO)—which was rebuffed by the State Department. In November 2019, the IC Subcommittee held a Member briefing on transnational white supremacist extremism. In January 2020, the Subcommittee received testimony on this issue at a hearing on the rise in anti-Semitic domestic terrorism.
Text of the legislation is found HERE.
SOURCE: Jonas Edwards-Jenks | Communications Director | Congressman Max Rose