An 18-year-old Ohio man has been arrested on state and federal charges after investigators said he made threats against federal law enforcement and Planned Parenthood. A search of the house where he lives with his father found a large stash of guns and ammunition.
Federal officials have broad powers to disrupt foreign terror plots but domestically they have far fewer options. A former national security prosecutor has drafted a statute that would criminalize domestic terrorism.
In 2016, social media—including services like Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Instagram and YouTube, plus personal blogs and forums—played a role in radicalizing and mobilizing 90 percent of lone actors, says a 2018 study.
Cesar Sayoc, a Florida bodybuilder and nightclub bouncer, mailed inoperative pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and media figures seen as critical of President Donald Trump. He blamed mental illness and excessive steroid use.
The number of domestic terrorism cases under federal investigation has dropped from 1,000 per year to 850. A former FBI supervisor says agents are reluctant to target “what the president perceives as his base.”
Foreign entities that threaten U.S. economic, governmental, and social infrastructure through cybersabotage should be classified as “terrorist” to give authorities the same powers to that they have to intervene against violent terror groups, says a forthcoming article in the Indiana Law Journal.
As the threat of violent white supremacy continues to mount, we must do more,” says Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). A federal law defines domestic terrorism but carries no penalties. Some law enforcement officials say it is time for Congress to pass a law aimed at people who commit political violence.
As “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh left prison, an FBI counterterrorism expert says investigators assess terrorists’ risks months before they leave custody. The FBI has 5,000 open terrorism probes.