Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Malinowski (NJ-7)
(Washington, DC) Today, Representative Tom Malinowski testified before the House Judiciary Committee to address the rising threat e of white supremacist terrorism. Watch his remarks here.
“Thank you, Madam Chair, Ranking Member, I very much appreciate the opportunity to testify before you on behalf of the 7th District in New Jersey. I’m here today to address just one issue the rising threat of white supremacist terrorism.
Over the past several years, our country has done an extremely good job protecting ourselves against terrorism committed by groups outside the United States like al-Qaeda and ISIS. We have not done nearly as well preventing attacks by people who have been radicalized by a neo-Nazi and white supremacist movement that has its origins within the United States but has becoming increasingly transnational.
FBI Director Wray has told us that most of the Bureau’s terrorism arrests in the US now involve “some form of white supremacy”. According to the Anti-Defamation League, virtually every deadly terrorist attack in the United States in the last 2 years was committed by a member of this movement.
It’s a movement united by a common belief that immigration is causing this is so called “replacement of the white race” and by a determination to create chaos and conflict by attacking Jews, Muslims, Hispanics, members of other religious and ethnic minority groups.
The threat and the ideology inspiring it is absolutely clear from the deadly attacks in El Paso, in Charleston, in Pittsburg. In each case, as well as in the horrible terrorist attack committed in Christchurch, New Zealand, the attacker cited exactly the same fear of invasion by immigrants.
Its pretty plain these people are becoming emboldened today. We see this in the crackpot conspiracy theories that are spreading virally on the internet, we see it in swastikas suddenly appearing on the walls of schools. We’ve had 6 such instances in one town in my district, Summit, New Jersey, in the past year. And we know it’s not just about actual loss of life, as bad as that it is. It is about the daily fear of loss of life. In my district virtually every single synagogue and Jewish Community Center either has armed security or is wrestling with the question of whether to have it. State police come to Mosques for Friday prayers.
Now there are actions we have to take in response to this that fall outside the purview of the Judiciary Committee. I’ll be leading an effort to try to restore funding for programs that the Department of Homeland Security that combat violent extremism in the United States that were cut a couple of years ago.
Many of us are pressing social media companies to do more to combat online radicalization and pressing the State Department to designate foreign white supremacist groups as terrorist organizations. But as busy as the Judiciary Committee is these days and I know you are busy, I think it is imperative that this committee do its part.
There’s currently legislation pending in the House and Senate that would strengthen our government’s ability to defeat domestic terrorism. This includes the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of which I’m an original cosponsor which would beef up the Justice Department units responsible for addressing this threat and improve data collection.
There’s the DATA Act and the NO HATE Act. We also need to consider the difficult question of whether we should pass a domestic counter terrorism statute. While its true that acts of mass murder committed by white supremacist like hate crime can be prosecuted as ordinary crimes, I think there is a strong argument for enabling the Justice Department to prosecute these people for what they are – terrorists – and thus signaling that this effort must be a greater priority in terms of protection of our country.
It’s also important for this committee to continue to hold hearings and to conduct its basic oversight work to ensure that the FBI and DOJ pay sufficient attention to this threat and that they know we will have their back when they do. We will provide the resources and the authorities that they need. Madam Chair, it is far past time that our country starts taking the threat posed by white supremacist terrorism as seriously and as urgently as we have rightly taken the threat posed by terrorist groups based outside the United States. There’s not a moment to be lost. Thank you.”