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house Bill H.R. 3106

Should Homeland Security & the Justice Dept. Prepare Annual Reports on Domestic & Int’l Terrorism?

Argument in favor

The federal government stopped producing reports on domestic terrorism in 2005, and since then the federal government has relied on third-party data to create policy on this important issue. Given the rise in right-wing extremism in recent years, it’s time for the federal government to recommence producing its own reports on domestic terrorism in order to craft the best possible policy to address this threat.

Em's Opinion
···
09/26/2019
We must begin to address the problem of right-wing, white nationalist domestic terrorism, and it starts with calling it what it is and informing the government and the public of this reality.
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Sandy 's Opinion
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09/22/2019
Can’t find what it’s about. They should make the Democrats do the work, and have actual Americans inspect for lies.
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Jennifer's Opinion
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09/26/2019
The federal government stopped producing reports on domestic terrorism in 2005, and since then the federal government has relied on third-party data to create policy on this important issue. Given the rise in right-wing extremism in recent years, it’s time for the federal government to recommence producing its own reports on domestic terrorism in order to craft the best possible policy to address this threat.
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Argument opposed

There’s nothing inherently wrong with third-party data. Since there’s already robust third-party data on domestic terrorism available, there’s no reason for the federal government to spend additional money and personnel hours on writing its own reports. Instead of funding reports, it would be more effective to ensure that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies should receive extra resources to fund domestic terrorism investigations.

Doug's Opinion
···
09/26/2019
This bill seems to be focused on right wing extremists, but is titled to suggest it encompasses global terrorism. Based on that alone, it just doesn’t pass the “smell” test for me.
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Jasen's Opinion
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09/27/2019
There’s nothing inherently wrong with third-party data. Since there’s already robust third-party data on domestic terrorism available, there’s no reason for the federal government to spend additional money and personnel hours on writing its own reports. Instead of funding reports, it would be more effective to ensure that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies should receive extra resources to fund domestic terrorism investigations.
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Joan's Opinion
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09/26/2019
Looks like congress doesn’t have a clue to existing procedures being done. They are suggesting duplicate worthless new bills. Just stealing our money.
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What is House Bill H.R. 3106?

This bill — the Domestic and International Terrorism DATA Act — would authorize the appropriation of $2 million a year over the 2020-2026 period for the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) to prepare annual reports on domestic and international terrorism. It would also require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to prepare an annual audit of those reports.

To bolster research into domestic terrorism, this bill would establish a DHS university-based research center to study domestic terrorism and publish a database on domestic terrorist incidents in the United States. It would also require the DHS Science and Technology Directorate to study transnational links between groups linked to domestic terrorism in the United States, such as white supremacists, and their counterparts abroad.

This bill’s full title is the Domestic Terrorism Documentation and Analysis of Threats in America Act.

Impact

Domestic terrorism; research into domestic terrorism; DHS; DOJ; GAO; and DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3106

$12.00 Million
The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would cost about $12 million over the 2020-2024 period.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) introduced this bill to foster transparency surrounding domestic terrorism data and increase research on the issue

“Domestic terrorism, fueled largely by a surge in white supremacist extremism, presents a growing threat to the security of our homeland. In 2018, the lives of 50 Americans were taken as a result of domestic extremist-related killings — all connected to right-wing extremism, and mostly tied to white supremacism. Yet, few Americans know much about what exactly the Federal government is doing to prevent domestic terrorism. There’s an urgent need for robust, centralized, and transparent Federal data to inform counterterrorism policymaking – and Americans deserve to know exactly how their government is allocating resources to understanding and confronting the scourge of domestic terrorism. At this critical time, Congress needs to lead on the issue of domestic terrorism and direct Federal agencies to prioritize efforts to counter these homeland security threats.” 

In an op-ed in The Hill, Rep. Thompson added that the information that this bill’s programs would generated would lead to better-informed policy discussions: 

“The American people deserve an informed debate. Policy discussions about new laws surrounding domestic terrorism are premature until and unless we have complete transparency on domestic terrorist incidents and what the government is doing to keep us safe.When Americans’ safety is on the line, we can’t put together this puzzle with a handful of pieces. It’s time to pass [this bill] to provide the American public the full picture.”

Writing for Just Security, Harsha Panduranga, counsel in the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security program, and Faiza Patel, Co-Director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, warn that efforts to combat “domestic terrorism”  can easily be distorted to target minority communities. With this in mind, they recommend this bill for “giv[ing] Congress more of the tools it needs to formulate effective and rights-respecting policies to address white supremacist violence.”

Since President Trump took office, his administration has made Islamic extremism, versus all violent ideologies, its primary focus. As a result, DHS has shifted resources away from programs aimed at combating far-right and white supremacist groups. The Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law reports that at least 85% of “Countering Violent Extremism” grants go to intervention, deradicalization, social services, and community outreach efforts aimed at minority groups, including Muslims, LGBTQ Americans, Black Lives Matter Activists, immigrants, and refugees.

This legislation passed the House Homeland Security Committee and was discharged by the House Judiciary Committee with the support of 58 Democratic cosponsors. It is also endorsed by the ADL, the Arab American Institute, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. 


Of NoteData collected by civil rights groups and others show a rise in domestic terrorism in recent years. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reports that in 2018, domestic extremists killed at least 50 people in the U.S., making for the fourth-deadliest year on recent for domestic extremist-related killings since 1970. The 2018 figure was a significant increase over the 37 extremist-related killings documented in 2017, although still lower than the 2015 and 2016 totals (70 and 72 killings, respectively). 

A May 2017 intelligence bulletin by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) stated that white supremacist extremism poses a persistent threat of lethal violence. It also noted that white supremacists were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016 — more than any other domestic extremist movement.

According to the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland, which tracks attacks on religious leaders and institutions by right-wing extremists, such attacks have been on the rise since 2014. There were 15 attacks in the U.S. in 2015, 25 in 2016, and 13 in 2017. The average number of annual attacks between 2004 and 2014 was three.

The Washington Post reports that, at 92 out of 263 attacks, right-wing extremists committed a third of all acts of domestic terrorism in the U.S. from 2010-2017. This figure was more than the number of attacks committed by Islamic terrorists (38) and left-wing terrorists (34) put together. In early March 2019, unpublished FBI data leaked to the Washington Post revealed that there were more domestic terrorism-related arrests than international terrorism-related arrests in both FY2017 and FY2018. 

The ADL also finds that there were more extremist-related killings in the U.S. from 2009-2018. Of 427 extremist-related attacks it found, the ADL found that 73.3% were committed by right-wing extremists, 23.4% by Islamist extremists, and 3.2% by left-wing extremists. Further, the ADL found that three out of four (75%) of killings committed by right-wing extremists in the U.S. were committed by white supremacists; in total, there were 313 such killings from 2009-2018.

On May 8, 2019, FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity testified before the Committee on Homeland Security that the FBI was investigating 850 domestic terrorism cases (a decrease from the approximately 1,000 investigations in 2018). He also told the committee that of those cases, about 40% involved racially-motivated extremists, mostly white supremacist extremism. 

On July 23, 2019, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary that there had been a similar number of arrests of domestic terrorism suspects compared to arrests of international terrorism suspects in Q1-Q3 of FY2019.

At present, public data compiled by outside stakeholders is the best available data on domestic terrorism in the U.S. While the federal government published similar information in the form of a Terrorism report capturing both domestic and international terror incidents in the U.S. from the early 1990s until 2005, it hasn’t done so recently. Rep. Thompson says of this report, “The picture it provided was far from complete, but it was better than what we have now.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / South_agency)

AKA

Domestic and International Terrorism DATA Act

Official Title

To require a joint domestic terrorism report, establish within the Department of Homeland Security a National Center for the Study of Domestic Terrorism, authorize research within the Department of Homeland Security on current trends in domestic terrorism, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Intelligence and Counterterrorism
      Committee on Homeland Security
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedJune 5th, 2019
    THIS BILL WOULD ALLOW FOR REPORTS TO BE COMPILED ABOUT THE DATA AVAILABLE ON THE STATE OF DOMESTIC ABUSE IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES SO THAT INFORMED DECISIONS COULD BE MADE ABOUT THOSE SEEKING ASYLUM BECAUSE OF DOMESTIC ABUSE. SINCE MANY OF THE GANGS THAT RUN MANY AREAS OF SIUTH AND Central American COUNTIRES ENCOURAGE DOMESTIC ABUSE, COMPILING THE DATA IS A VERY USEFUL TOOL ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON IN THESE COUNTRIES!IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT A BILL IS ABOUT, AND THERE IS NO EXPLANATION, ON THE BOTTOM LEFT HAND SIDE IN BLUE, CLICK ON "Full text of bill."
    Like (3)
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    We must begin to address the problem of right-wing, white nationalist domestic terrorism, and it starts with calling it what it is and informing the government and the public of this reality.
    Like (2)
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    Give me info to be a yea....
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    Will these reports be read by 3/4 or more of members of Congress? If so, then it makes sense to produce these reports. The likelihood of more than 6-12 members of Congress reading these reports is extremely poor. With those odds why bother? Why should Congress deal with facts when opinion is easier to fit into their narrative?
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    The federal government stopped producing reports on domestic terrorism in 2005, and since then the federal government has relied on third-party data to create policy on this important issue. Given the rise in right-wing extremism in recent years, it’s time for the federal government to recommence producing its own reports on domestic terrorism in order to craft the best possible policy to address this threat.
    Like (1)
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    We must understand how domestic terrorism takes root to stop it.
    Like (1)
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    This bill seems to be focused on right wing extremists, but is titled to suggest it encompasses global terrorism. Based on that alone, it just doesn’t pass the “smell” test for me.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Can’t find what it’s about. They should make the Democrats do the work, and have actual Americans inspect for lies.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Homeland security must report all domestic violence incidents at least quarterly to the senate and the house and the White House
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    Yes this would be a valuable tool to adjust resources and man hours towards the fight of Terrorism
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    There’s nothing inherently wrong with third-party data. Since there’s already robust third-party data on domestic terrorism available, there’s no reason for the federal government to spend additional money and personnel hours on writing its own reports. Instead of funding reports, it would be more effective to ensure that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies should receive extra resources to fund domestic terrorism investigations.
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    Support transparency.
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    yes I feel really Americans need to be informed on domestic terrorism this may have prevented the attacks on 9/11 it is crucial that we get reports annually
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    Looks like congress doesn’t have a clue to existing procedures being done. They are suggesting duplicate worthless new bills. Just stealing our money.
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    Have transparency in government and public information
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