Democrats protect left-wing terrorism in legislative battle over domestic terrorism

House Judiciary Democrats appear to be all in for protecting left wing terrorism, after their decision to strike down a commonsense proposal to include left-wing terrorism in H.R. 5602, “The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020”.

The amendment, made by Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), documented dozens of specific violent incidents by left-wing groups or individuals. As the text stands, H.R. 5602’s findings mention only right-wing or white supremacist attacks. The legislation does mentions recent antisemitic attacks in New Jersey and New York, but fails to mention that perpetrators were reportedly linked to the Black Hebrew Israelites, a fringe African American group that the FBI has identified as a potential terror risk. This follows on repeated efforts by some on the left -including Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib- to conflate these and similar attacks on Jews in the region with white supremacy, despite the actual identity of the perpetrators.

The FBI came under left wing political pressure for highlighting the threat from what they previously termed “Black Identity Extremists.” The FBI now prefers the term “Racially Motivated Extremism,” which includes both Black and White supremacist groups.

Vague and non-specific terminology increases the risk that groups with different methodologies and motivations will be improperly conflated, decreasing the ability of law enforcement to detect and prevent terror threats before they take place and making investigations more challenging.

This tendency to eliminate relevant and informative terminology in identifying threats reached its pinnacle under the Obama Administration with the advent of “Countering Violent Extremism,” which deliberately obscured the nature of jihadist terror facing the United States. This led to the preposterous situation where individual jihadists not positively linked to an existing designated terror group are labeled both “homegrown” and “international terrorism” at the same time.

It has increasingly become clear that Countering Violent Extremism program was an utter failure as even government officials have said there’s no evidence Countering violent extremism ever prevented a terror attack.

This latest move by House Democrats shows once again how fundamentally dishonest and unserious the discussion of domestic terrorism has become. While Republicans are willingly to admit that there is some level of threat from violent white supremacists -acknowledging that it is a threat among several significant domestic terror threats- the left continues to ignore and dismiss any and all threats except those they can exploit for political advantage,  even if that requires mislabeling incidents and eliminating references to terror threats that originated from other groups.

About Kyle Shideler

Kyle Shideler is the Director and Senior Analyst for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism at the Center for Security Policy. Mr. Shideler specializes in Islamist groups operating in the United States, having spent over a decade researching and writing on their history, doctrine, and impact. Read his complete bio here. Follow Shideler on Twitter at @ShidelerK.