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tv   House Appropriations Commerce Subcommittee Hearing on Domestic Terrorism  CSPAN  April 29, 2021 10:03am-11:58am EDT

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tell me again the name of the group you are affiliated with and its purpose. caller: i have my own group if you go on youtube. the men's rights subreddit on reddit and the official discord for that. i've written for the national coalition for men and i have written for men are human, it's an organization. host: appreciate your call this morning. that will about do it for us as we wrap up the program for the calls and comments. we are back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern as we are every day. we will take you next to a hearing with the house appropriations commerce subcommittee looking at the mastic terrorism and violent extremism hearing from judiciary -- from the justice department officials and it's just getting underway. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> all members and witnesses that the five minute block -- clock still applies. if there is a technology issue, we will move to the next member until the issue is revolve -- resolved and you will retain the valiant -- balance of your time. it will show how much time is remaining at one minute remaining the clock will turn yellow, 30 seconds remaining i will pass the devil to remind them that their time is expired. i will begin to recognize the next member. we will begin with the chair and ranking member and then members present at the time the hearing is called to order will be recognized in order of seniority. members not present at the time the hearing is called to order. finally, house rules require to remind you we have set up an email address to which members can send anything they wish to submit in writing at any of our
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committees for markups. that has been provided in advance to staff. the subcommittee will come to order. good morning, we meet today to explore a crisis of grave concern to the subcommittee and the american people, the rise of domestic terrorism and extremist violence in this country. the threat it poses to public safety, free speech, the rule of law and our core democratic principles. we will also discuss how the department of justice and the fbi are addressing this crisis. the january 6 riot and the insurrection perpetrators are not sadly part of an insignificant minority, whether
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they had been lone wolves are conspiring in groups, this is a growing and metastasizing blight on our society. we as members of congress personally experienced the january 6 insurrection and we owe it's not only to the people of our nation, but the democratic institutions to which we serve to ensure such an event never happens again. the attack on the capital to domestic terrorism to a level that must not be downplayed as fbi director wray testified to the committee in march, january 6 was not an isolated event. the problem of domestic terrorism has been metastasizing across the country for a long time now and it will not go away anytime soon.
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we have used the word metastasizing twice and that's not an accident. this is a cancer on our country. all the evidence of the past two years documented in a comprehensive database terrorist incidents tamed by the center for strategic and international studies shows that right-wing extremists attacked and plots -- attacks and plots have greatly outnumbered those from all groups combined. since 2015, white supremacists, extremist militia supporters and like-minded individuals involved in 267 plots or attacks and 91 fatalities. while incidents allegedly from all other groups accounted for 66 incidents leading to 19 death including only 5% associated with jihadists, the lowest share since 2008. the csis data shows the january
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6 breach was one of 11 far-right terrorism attacks in january, of the most for any january on record. despite all of this evidence, we have to deal with uninformed public commentary and even intentionally inflammatory words from leaders who seek to deflect outrage or to resort to what about-ism tactics, to seek to minimize news about this crisis. some infamously after the mastic terrorism incidents used terms such as fine people on both sides. our law enforcement agency including the fbi need to revise bureaucratic mindsets and catch up to these new threats and our new reality in their investigative efforts as suggested by fbi chief of staff chuck rosenberg.
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attorney general garland said recently in reference to his role as lead prosecutor in the 1995 oklahoma city bombing case, "i have a chance to lead a department that leads the fight against domestic violent extremists so that the kind of tragedy we had in oklahoma city does not occur." we on this subcommittee want to help the attorney general and department of justice in this fight. we welcome to senior leaders in the department of justice. executive assistant director jill leads the fbi national security branch and she is a veteran of the efforts to deal with terrorism at home and abroad and was the first woman to lead the fbi tech -- counterterrorism directory. deputy assistant attorney general brad wakeman represents the division to consolidate the
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departments primary national scaredy operations and assure counterintelligence and counterterrorism entity do not -- the law. we will use the definition the fbi provided in a july 2020 report to the subcommittee which describes domestic violent extremists as those who pose a persistent threat on violence and economic harm, but distinctive -- but distinct from those connected with international terrorism. indeed the greatest threat is from "racially or ethic -- ethnically motivated violent extremists." because this hearing is an open session, we understand many matters of interest to the subcommittee may be consent to
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discuss in detail. hopefully we can have a fruitful and informative session at the unclassified level, but should some answers need to be handled under secure procedures, the subcommittee can accommodate that requirement as well. executive assistant director sanborn and deputy assistant attorney general wiegmann, we look forward to your testimony. >> thank you mr. chairman, it is great to be with you today along with our subcommittee members even though we are here virtually today, but it is a very important topic of domestic violent extremism. i do appreciate our witnesses from the fbi who joined us today
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and the department of justice, so we welcome both of you taking time to meet with us this morning. our first amendment guarantees every american the right to speak freely and assemble peacefully. i have always supported peaceful protest and of course the right to peaceful protest. unfortunately, over the past year we have seen stark examples of extremists using tragedies and other notable events to disguise their attempts to incite and engage in violence and even domestic terrorism. all forms of domestic terrorism much be -- must be condemned putting violent extremism from the political left like that which has alarmed the mayor of portland, maine but also threat such as the violence associated with white supremacy. i hope that this hearing is an opportunity to discuss the reported rise of domestic terrorism in the united states,
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evaluate the role of the federal government in combating domestic terrorism and discuss potential solutions to address all forms of domestic terrorism. we cannot surrender american cities or the safety of our communities to extremists who seek to intimidate, coerce or assault our american citizens. we must find ways to -- the simmering threat of violent extremists, reduce violent extremism and prevent violence that is driven by ideology all while at the same time preserving american rights to hold some unpopular views -- sometimes unpopular views. i look forward to hearing the efforts about -- of the joint task force, the role of the u.s. attorney, advisory councils and how the department of justice coordinates the interagency partners to mitigate domestic terrorism threats.
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i also look forward to hearing what the justice department has learned and implemented as a result of 10 years of funding for research on domestic radicalization of the national institute of justice including the degree at which abuse, trauma, bullying and discrimination can lead to some individuals to actually be radicalized. we also need to discuss whether the department has the proper resources in place to address these threats that are posed by violent extremists. if not today, then we will have an opportunity when the attorney general appears before our committee in the coming days. america is governed by laws. not violence. it is not governed by intimidation. we must deal with this problem with the seriousness it deserves. assistant dressed -- assistant director sanborn, deputy
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assistant attorney general wiegmann, i look forward to your testimony. rep. cartwright: at this time we will recognize our witnesses for testimony. keep your eye on the clock, we prefer you don't go over and always remember that your entire written testimony will be sumita to the record so you don't have to feel like you left out any points. -- your entire written testimony will be sent to the record -- submitted to the record so you don't have to feel like you left out any points. ms. sanborn: it is an honor to be with you today. i am always excited to have the opportunity to speak with you because i started my career in public service as a senate page
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in 1987. for i get into my testimony i want to offer my condolences to all of you and the officers who served the united states capitol police and the washington, d.c. interpol at an police department who had to endure up close and personally the violence and destruction that occurred on january 6. the siege on the capitol complex while you were carrying out your duties as our elected representatives was not just unacceptable and disturbing, it was criminal. violence designed to intimidate the population and to wound the government is exactly what the counterterrorism division was designed to combat. the american people deserve nothing less then our commitment to see this through and maybe more importantly to prevent acts of violence like this in the future. the fbi's number one priority of preventing acts of terrorism from any place by any act or. -- after. -- actor.
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these actors are challenging for law enforcement because by definition, their insular nature makes them difficult to disrupt before they have an opportunity to act. i know today you are interested in talking about domestic terrorism and i appreciate your attention to the threat. the fbi has been investigating domestic terrorism throughout our history. today's threat is different than what it was years ago and continues to evolve. in the last year we have surged resources to our domestic terrorist investigations to counter this threat representing you 260% increase in domestic terrorism personnel. 2019 was the most fatal year for domestic violent extremist attacks since the obama city bombing -- oklahoma city bombing in 1995. between 2015 and 2020, racially
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or ethnically motivated violent extremists were responsible for the most fatal attacks. three of the four day -- fatal domestic extreme as to tax 2020 were done by antigovernment extremists. one of those was in portland, oregon which was the first fatal anarchist violent extremist attack in over 20 years. we believe they will continue to pose an elevated threat of violence to the united states. we expect racially or ethnically voted dated but -- motivated violent extremists will very likely pose the greatest domestic terrorist threat throughout 2020 and likely into 2022. it's important to note the threats from international terrorism have not diminished. rather, potentially for the first time in my 20 years, the threat from domestic terrorism,
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salafi jihad and state-sponsored terrorism are all elevated simultaneously. we want to underscore the importance of partnerships in the counterterrorism fight. our investigations and disruption rely on cooperation with federal, state and local law enforcement partners as well as the communities we serve. in fiscal year 2020, the fbi led joint terrorism task forces across the country representing the states you all represent arrested 235 terrorist subjects, both international and domestic. in march of 2020 we disrupted a racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists who advocated for the superiority of the white race plotting to bombing missouri hospital. last may we arrested a florida-based individual planning and attempting to carry out an attack on behalf of isis. in june we arrested a kentucky
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based soldier who would disclose information to extremists. later in october, we prevented multiple militia violent extremists from executing plans to kidnap the governor of michigan in response to covid-19 policy. lastly in november, initially based on a tip we received from our foreign law enforcement partners we arrested a new york-based volitional violent extremists for making threatening interstate communications to our new york senator schumer. we continue to expand our partnerships in academia, the private sector and within communities we serve. nearly half of our cases are predicated on referrals from law enforcement agencies or tips from the public. i want to emphasize the fbi's mission to uphold the constitution, protect the american people. this is dual, simultaneous and
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not contradictory. when a person crosses the line to violate federal law, -- i want to conclude my remarks by expressing appreciation for the support you continue to provide. i look forward to answering any questions you might have. rep. cartwright: at this time we recognize deputy assistant attorney general wiegmann for five minutes of testimony. the same request goes to you, please keep your remarks to five minutes. your entire written submission will be included in the record. mr. wiegmann: thank you chairman cartwright, members of the subcommittee. appreciate the opportunity to testify about the work done. the events of january 6 of underscored the mastic terrorism continues to pose significant threats to the public and rule of law. the attack on our nation's
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capital was an intolerable assault on our democracy. it showed a disregard for institutional government and safety of legislatures -- legislators and the public. the doj and fbi have launched an effort to hold accountable all those who engage in criminal acts of the capital. the investigation spans most the entire country and agents and prosecutors in multiple states are part of it. the prosecution efforts are being led by the u.s. attorney's office in the district of columbia. within 430 individuals have been charged thus far in that number continues to grow. we've also seen efforts to intimidate our community as with the case erected asian americans. the department and the fbi are supporting local investigations into those attacks while assessing whether federal hate crimes were involved. our goal at the doj is to present -- event attacks and
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bring those responsible to justice. today i would like to give a brief overview of how the department of justice is organized to handle domestic terrorism cases. we use the tools at our disposal to take a holistic approach to combating the threat. on the front lines are our 94 u.s. attorney's office. each coordinates a group of federal, state and local law enforcement called the antiterrorism advisory council. this works in close partnership with its corresponding fbi joint terrorism task force. they promote training and information sharing among federal, state and local law enforcement. each attorney's office has a senior prosecutor who serves as the coordinator. this designated specially trained and serves as the lead counterterrorism prosecutor for the district. many offices have designated national security section that focuses on counterterrorism and other national security threats.
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at main justice in washington, the national security division of which i'm a part created in 2006 works on the work nationwide. we have a counterterrorism section with attorneys equipped to work on domestic and international terrorism matters. we have a counsel for domestic terrorism and four coordinators. the department of policy -- the department policy requires notification to the national division of any investigations or prosecution with a neck sister to mastic terrorism and to coordinate and provide assistance. in addition, other divisions of the department play porton -- play an important role. they are responsible for overseeing the prosecution of hate crimes. some of which may qualify as active terror. we have prosecuted domestic terrorists in a wide range of criminal statutes. these include weapons charges, riot charges and charges for
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prescribing attacks on a facility. potential hate crime charges may be filed for those against a racial or ethnic minority. some cases are better -- are best prosecuted a state level. in those cases we support state and local partners where we can. while there is no single federal crime labeled domestic terrorism, criminal code includes a definition as well as federal crimes. these definitions provide an array of expanded authorities. judges can issue nationwide search warrants, government attorneys have additional authority to share information and congress has created a presumption of pretrial intention for terrorism offenses. the sentencing guidelines also provide a significant enhancement. in my written testimony i provided examples of cases we brought.
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consistent with long-standing policy, our practices are to charge and pursue the most serious and readily approvable offenses based on the facts of the case. it is important to emphasize we prosecute individuals for criminal acts, not for their beliefs or associations. the fbi may not investigate on the basis of first amendment protected activity at the fbi will pursue and the doj will prosecute those who use violence in violation of federal law in it -- in an attempt to further their ideological goals. i appreciate the opportunity to discuss this today. rep. cartwright: we proceed now to the question and answer session. i will recognize myself first for five minutes and then go to ranking member aderholt and then we will go back and forth between the democrats and republicans for the full first
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round and probably proceed to a second round as well. i recognize myself or five minutes. assistant director sanborn, we have to talk about definitions as mr. wiegmann mentioned. i understand the fbi applies the term domestic terrorism to criminal acts violates federal law, in particular 18 united states code section 2331, subpart five, primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the united states which represents more than simply first amendment protected speech , no matter how vitriolic or hateful. is that inaccurate description of the fbi's approach given the definition of domestic terrorist? ms. sanborn: yes, it is defined
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by 2331. rep. cartwright: here is a question for the both of you. in an unclassified march 2021 summary, the office of the director of national intelligence stated a "domestic violence extremists who are motivated by a range of ideologies and galvanized by recent political and societal events in the united states pose an elevated threat to the homeland in 21." for each of you, do you concur with that sentiment? ms. sanborn: i will start. we definitely -- we published a recent product saying just that. so we do agree that is something we should pay attention to in the future. mr. wiegmann: that is my understanding as well.
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rep. cartwright: so this month, the washington post reported based on multi-data collected by the center for strategic and international studies that incidents of domestic terrorism have "soared to new highs in the united states driven chiefly by white supremacist, anti-muslim and antigovernment extremists on the far right." again, a tossup for both of you. do you agree with the analysis and if not, would you elaborate? rep. cartwright: i will start -- ms. sanborn: i will start. i'm not familiar with the thesis analysis but 2020 was the deadliest year since the obama city bombings so we have seen an increase in lethality -- oklahoma city bombings, so yes we have seen an increase in lethality. mr. wiegmann: i would defer to
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the fbi but that is my understanding as well that there has been an increase and it has been attributable to racially motivated>> extremists of all vs use hate speech and social media to indoctrinate or inspire to commit or facilitate violence while expressing hateful ideas may have first amendment protections, and it is also black letter law that the first amendment prohibits governmental sanctioning of speech unless that insights "imminent lawless action and is likely to incite such action." drawing a line between what is free expression and what is terrorism is something that we are clearly still struggling with. possibly because there are numerous -- there seem to be
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many different popular perceptions of what violent extremism and terrorism mean. government agencies need legal clarity. are the current legal and practical definitions of domestic terrorism and violent extremism working, and if not, what areas do you see as problematic and in need of improvement or clarification. we will start with you. ms. sanborn: i would actually defer to mr. weigmann on this. we -- he pointed out a challenge which is separating where hateful speech is just speech and where that turns to plotting, which is why we focus on the indicators. rep. cartwright: you are deferred to. mr. wiegmann: there are some gray areas as you pointed out,
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in respect to when you cross the line from speech to a true threat, those are the things where the courts have given us guidance, and there are things that we work with on a regular basis and have done for many years. rep. cartwright: my time is expired, so i am going to yield to our distinguished ranking member, mr. aderholt. rep. aderholt: thank you. and again, thank you for both of our guests being here today before our committee, virtually. as mr. wiegmann noted, it was domestic terrorists who shot and injured four people at the congressional baseball practice in 2017, including in that injury was the majority whip at the time, steve scalise and a lobbyist that was working with the baseball team, matt mika.
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they were both critically wounded. the shooter was a deranged supporter of bernie sanders who had a list of republican members of congress in his pocket when he actually ambushed the group. some of us learned just last week that the fbi classified the 2017 congressional baseball shooting as a suicide by cop, and as my colleague, brad wenstrup has stated, classifying an attack as suicide by cop defies logic. has the fbi cleared up this reclassifying the incident as an act of domestic terrorism? ms. sanborn: thank you for the question. it is fair to say that the shooter was motivated by a desire to do a attack on
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congress and unknowing that he would likely be killed in a process. cases like this are challenging because there were a couple of clues left behind, but he died in the process never allowing us to fully examine and interview his motivations. this is a good example of what i will talk about as we go on today with a trend that we started to see 2016ish, that the motivation and what drove somebody to mobilize is a very personalized grievance that they hold, something different from the domestic terrorism threat in years past. there are indicators that the shooter thanks -- intended for the shooting to be his final act, that those are not inconsistent by those motivated by a variety of factors to create violent acts place -- based on a blend of personal motivations and this is something that we would characterize as a domestic terrorism event. reppo alter old -- reppo alter
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hold so it would be considered an act of domestic terrorism. ms. sanborn: if it were to happen today, we would open it has eight domestic terrorism case. rep. aderholt: what was the motive behind that is -- the rationale behind the decision? ms. sanborn: i am not aware, i will have to get back to you on the specifics of what the rationale was. but going back and looking at it and with the trends we have seen, that personalized grievant motivation fits in the phenomena that the director and i talk about which is this very personalized blending of ideologies that motivate someone. rep. aderholt: i think we would be interested in knowing what the rationale was if you could provide that for us. that would be great. director wray said that social media has become, in many ways, the key amplifier to domestic
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violence extremism as it has for evil foreign influence. i will address this question to mr. wiegmann. when social media platforms kick offensive groups off of their sites, doesn't make it more difficult for the fbi to monitor to track -- to monitor and track their behavior and threats. mr. wiegmann: i think ms. sa nborn can answer that question. ms. sanborn: social media increased the speed of violent material online, so that definitely, because of that consistence in speed and the amount of rhetoric, there is a challenge for us and trying to filter through all of the noise and figure out what individual may actually have the intent to take their hate fueled free speech further into an act of breaking federal law. rep. aderholt: what would you consider more dangerous, and either one of you can answer this.
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dangerous domestic violence extremist promoting violence in the open, or underground such as on the dark web? ms. sanborn: i think the method that they express their intent does not necessarily make one more dangerous than the other. i think what i would put out there for you to think about is it would propose a challenge to us. we have the potential, and half of our patent -- cases are generated on tips and leads through partners and community members. if it is not something that we see, and if we cannot get to it with a lawful warrant, it is something that could go on prevented, so the dark web, unencrypted, poses a greater challenge for us because of that inability. rep. aderholt: thank you. i think my time has elapsed. rep. cartwright: the chair recognizes representative grace meng for five minutes for
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questions. rep. meng: thank you mr. chairman and our witnesses for your work and being here today. i wanted to follow-up on mr. aderholt's questioning on social media platforms like twitter and facebook, they have played a central role in elevating conspiracy theories, hate and get tree. while some companies have occasionally banned from their platforms certain individuals or dangerous rhetoric, there are still other social media asks like parler, telegraph, and signal. i wanted to know what some of these companies can do, and i know that i have heard that platforms like signal, for example, or even harder to monitor, so what can these companies do better, and what
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can congress do? and, the second part of this question, are there vent -- any noticeable trends after the january 6 insurrection that you are seeing without domestic right-wing groups are using some of these platforms? ms. sanborn: thank you for the question. i will start. we have a very good relationship with a lot of the private sector partners that you mentioned in your question, and so that relationship is always increasing and i am encouraged by the cooperation with them. one of the important things that we have with them that we have learned is very fruitful is that when we can educate them on the things they should be worried about, the threats that we are facing, it allows them to be thoughtful and mindful when they build up the terms of use agreement with the user. i think that is one way we are partnering with them and there is a specific section inside the
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counterterrorism division that focuses on those strategic private sector partners. as far as the second half the question, i do not know if it is unique or anything new, but oftentimes across international and domestic terrorism, we see individuals potentially initiate their first relationship or connection with a like-minded individual in the open social media forum, but often they look to move conversations to some cryptic -- encrypted application. rep. meng: i also wanted -- i also wanted to ask about right wing extremist groups, and there are anecdotes of affinities between american-based right-wing groups and those abroad. they may feed off of each other, and while we can ban certain individuals from visiting the u.s. we cannot stop there ideas from proliferating across the internet.
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so, i wanted to ask about your concerns about domestic groups intentionally sharing information with international groups and vice versa, and are there gaps in your efforts to understand some of these efforts and what additional resources or personnel could you need? ms. sanborn: thank you for that question. i will tell you having grown up working international terrorism for most of my career, i will never be at a point where i think i have the intel i need, i will always want more. i would also say it is important to lay this foundation, we do not investigate ideology or groups, to your connection -- question about the foreign connection, and this is across all threats, the internet poses the potential and allows for the facilitation of like-minded individuals to link up across the globe.
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we are always looking for individuals in the united states that might be reaching out to foreign entities and using that link up to then incite violence, or mobilize the violence in the united states. one of the ways we tackle that is with our legal attache program and try to work closely with foreign partners to see what indicators and warnings we can get not only here in the united states and overseas. rep. meng:, thank -- thank you, i yelled back. rep. cartwright: thank you. at this time the chair recognizes congressman kline for five minutes. we may have to bounce back to mr. klein. and so, in default of him, the chair recognizes mr. garcia for
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five minutes. rep. garcia: thank you. with respect, i think he is online now and i hate to cut in front of him unnecessarily so if we want to go back -- i would prefer to yield back. rep. cartwright: it is nice to have you back. i think we scared him off mr. garcia. rep. garcia: sorry. rep. cartwright: we are going to go with you. go ahead. rep. garcia:, thank you both for your testimony and service. we were kind of hitting on the edges of the definition of domestic terrorism, can one of you please just recite the language i am seeing in the package that was brought forward on page six, there is a definition so i want to make sure we are on the same page. if you are able to do that.
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mr. wiegmann: i can do that. 18 u.s. code 2335, the term domestic terrorism means activities that include acts dangerous to human life that are in violation of the criminal laws of the united states or any state, and they must appear to be intended to intimidate all couriers -- coheres --c oerice the population, or to affect the conduct of government i mass destruction, assassination and kidnapping. finally it must occur within the territorial jurisdiction of the united states." rep. garcia: thank you for level setting us. would you agree that this definition applies to the entire political spectrum, not just the far, but also the far left in any american or -- any american or threats to american lives in between. mr. wiegmann: absolutely.
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rep. garcia: would you will -- would you say this applies to all races and ethnicities. you mentioned that this was focused primarily on actions taken against ethnic minorities, and your words, but the reality is that this legislation and law is actually applicable to protecting all americans, is that inaccurate statements? mr. wiegmann: totally correct. whatever the race might be, it is covered, absolutely. rep. garcia: so my question is, relative to what we have seen over the course of the last year and a half in cities like portland, seattle, and minneapolis where we have organizations and individuals, not just protesting, which is obviously constitutional and encouraged, peaceful protests are the core of our american heritage and should be encouraged, but they have devolved into riots, looting,
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and the destruction of small businesses. the occupation of cities and suburbs and small segments of metropolitan areas with the interest of intimidating coercing a civilian population and influencing the policy of government by intimidation, and to affect the conduct of the government by mass destruction or kidnapping, i think there have been murders in several of these cities. are these riots and destruction in these various metropolitan areas like portland, seattle, and minneapolis being treated as act as the dutch acts of domestic terrorism as defined by the laws as you described? mr. wiegmann: i do believe that the attorney general concluded that some of those acts were qualified, and what we would do in any case is decide the evidence, and see any specific case if there is a legal
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standard, absolutely, they would be declared domestic terrorism. rep. garcia: do you have any idea of how many charges or cases are in the system relative to the riots in various metropolitan areas? mr. wiegmann: as i explained in my testimony, there is not a general domestic terrorism charge. it could be riots, it could be assaulting a federal officer or etc. there is not anything in the charges, it qualifies as domestic terrorism, that would be individualized, but i know that there were several hundred charges brought as a result of unrest that somewhere between may and september, so there were several hundred federal charges and i do not know the number of state charges. rep. garcia: to help us put to bed or help in the debate of an issue that we have seen, is a statement from a sitting elected official, whether a member of
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congress or state legislature along the lines of need to become more confrontational in our protests in the midst of a heated environment around race issues, would you consider that to fall under the definition of the criminal code as you described it earlier, domestic terrorism? mr. wiegmann: again, in general i would not like to leave it to hypotheticals. it would meet the massenet -- the definition that it is not dangerous to human life or anything like that. rep. garcia: there is not coer sion? mr. wiegmann: i do not think that statement will qualify. rep. cartwright: thank you. this time the chair recognizes representative crist for five minutes of crest -- questioning. rep. crist: thank you, we appreciate the hearing and the opportunity to be here.
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an incident involving a neo-nazi organization hit home for my constituents in 2017. in neighboring tampa, a double murder occurred where four members of the organization did when one of the members turned on two others. when they looked in the house in addition to firearms they found buckets of explosives. you probably know better than myself, but to my knowledge these people were not on the authority's radar despite recruitment and planning being done online and who knows what would have happened if they had not turned on one another. so, my question that my constituents are pretty lucky that nothing worse did happen. has anything changed over the last four years to your knowledge to keep the situation i described from happening again? ms. sanborn: i mean, we talked about this a little bit, and the biggest challenge we face is how
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do we get the indicators and warnings, the tape and the lead exactly what you mentioned. -- tip and lead. we rely heavily, and this is something we use a heavy amount of resources for is having sources and undercovers that can help us get the information or educating a community that can pay attention and warn us of something that may come might have seen that is out of sorts. it is definitely a challenge to get those indicators and warnings and what we need to get the bottom of that. rep. crist: thank you. recently the water treatment plant in florida, right next to my district was hacked. whoever hacked the plant raised the sodium hydroxide levels, the main ingredient and drain cleaner from 100 parts per million to about -- i understand that at the level it is considered corrosive to any
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human tissue that it might touch. while a plant notified dutch operator was able to correct it raise questions about cyber first facilities in places like that who do not have security resources of larger cities and whether or not they are targets for terrorism or violent extremism. for either witness, how does the work you do to prevent terrorism applied to preventing cyber terrorism in communities that are smaller such as that one. ms. sanborn: i will start. i think you present a very important point, not only are the elevation of the threats that i outlined in my opening high, that we are at a time when the threats from cyber in general are also very high we work closely with our cyber division. one of our biggest tools in our toolbox outside the joint terrorism task force are the partnerships with the private sector.
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we are helping them understand potential vulnerabilities and working with them is probably the best defense that we have to defend -- to defend networks against any actor. rep. crist: for either witness, if someone under investigation for their ties to violent extremism or domestic terrorism and have not been charged with a crime that prevents them from purchasing a firearm, will their ties to domestic terrorism be flagged if they attempt to purchase an assault weapon and what it be prevented -- would they be prevented from purchasing one, and would you be notified if a subject of an investigation purchased a firearm? ms. sanborn: i will start and then if brad wants to chime in with anything on his side. i know that there -- if they are outright prohibited then that would be on our radar. i would have to get back to you
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on the sheer presence of them being in an assessment or case on whether that will be a red flag. i do not have the specifics on that so i will follow up on that. rep. crist: that would be great, thank you. i am running to the end of my time, so i will yield back. thank you, both of the witnesses. rep. cartwright: at this time the chair recognizes representative klein for five minutes of questioning. >> thank you. am i coming through? rep. cartwright: yes. do not touch anything it is working now. >> i apologize and i appreciate the patients. ensuring that security of the american people is the primary duty of all members of congress and that we are doing everything possible to prevent attacks on
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citizens of our nation. violence committed by any individual or group has no place in our society and congress must ensure that law enforcement is working to combat the ever-changing landscape of threats. ms. sanborn, throughout the last year the effie -- the fbi observed activity that indicated there was the potential for increased violent extremist activity at lawful protests taking place in communities all across the united states. has the fbi determined what contracting factors led to this uptake -- uptick in potential? ms. sanborn: that is a great question and i alluded a little bit to it in my opening any answer to the baseball game question, it is pinpointing what is driving someone to mobilize is incredibly complex, but more so in the domestic violence extremist space, because what we found as we look at that post
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incident is that it is a blend of ideology, but oftentimes really partnered closely with a personalized grievance, so as you can imagine, that makes it hard to figure out what truly was the motivating factor in pushing them to mobilization. that is an incredible challenge because of the personalized nature. rep. cline: was this the fact when you were looking at extremist activity at lawful protests on both or across the political spectrum? were these contributing factors existing no matter whether it was on the right or left? we had those protests on the right and the left taking place across the united states. ms. sanborn: yes, trying to figure out throughout the whole country in 2020 what was the specific mobilization factor for each case that we looked at was challenging, and oftentimes very
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personalized, and depending on if they interviewed with us or told us what that factor is, very unlikely that we may never get to the real thought on what motivated them that day. rep. cline: can you talk about what the fbi has done to counteract domestic violence extremist and if these groups are on the rise, how will they work to prevent future attacks? ms. sanborn: that is a great question. the majority of what we do outside of investigative techniques and i will hit on that in a second is educating the community. half of our cases are predicated on somebody from the community or another law enforcement partner seeing something that rises to the level of telling us and that happens time and time again. the more we do that the better, if we can kick that to a 60 or 70, that is an effort worth our time. it is using our resources, especially when you think about the potential issues with encryption and collection on the
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technical side, how do we get more sources in the right places , and very similar to the michigan plot, how do we get people in the right space that can tell us about a plot in the making? rep. cline: still going through the appropriate legal procedures of obtaining court orders before sifting through the nsa's collection of communications and things like that, correct? ms. sanborn: yes, sir. rep. cline: director wray has stated that the greatest threat we face in the homeland posed -- posed by lone actors who look to attack soft targets. can you tell me what the fbi is doing to combat this disturbing trend and tools needed to prevent radel -- radicalizing visuals from terrorizing our communities. ms. sanborn: i think that speaks
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to the insular nature. it is hard to be when you are in the privacy of your own home, and mobilize, acquire a weapon a knife without any indicators and warnings that they are doing that. that is a challenge for us. with resources, some of the things we could do better is data analytics. when i was a case agent the most voluminous data would be hundreds of pages of telephone records. our agents today are faced with a plethora of avenues, paypal, snapchat, and so we are trying to sift through and a norm is the amount of data to look for the things that you are talking about. rep. cline: thank you you. mr. chairman, i yield back. rep. cartwright:, thank you. the chair recognizes mr. case for five minutes of questions. rep. case:, thank you.
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to the witnesses, this being appropriations, my basic question is do you think you have the resources to do your job, especially as it seems to have become so much more critical in the past couple of months. ms. sanborn, let me start with you. you said that you had seen 260% increase in domestic terrorism, and i think it was year-over-year, if i am not mistaking. -- mistaking. i am looking at the budget numbers and i understand that your department, doj counter terrorism started in 2019 with 1.23 5 billion and 21 1.4 9 billion for a 5% over two years. that seems to be insufficient given what has happened in the last number of years. is that a fair statement, are
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you -- you made the comment earlier that you could always use more resources, and we can. it is kind of a difference between want and critical need. so i am asking for your assessment, are you asking for a significant increase in term of your fy 22 budget? ms. sanborn: i will let brad a comment after i am done and i will try and stay away from the specific appropriation conversation as my role as ad. the 260% personnel increase was just last year along and the case is doubled. the effort and cases are increasing and what i would leave you with is that while we are aggressively trying to do that and i think the surge shows you that we are trying to get ahead of that, that is not a recipe for a long-term approach for the fbi. some of the things that more resources would get us our better and more data analytics,
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more task force officers, the ability to create more sources, to pay and have more undercover operations. if we had more resources, we would definitely be good stewards and use those things in those sort of categories that i put out. brad, i will defer to you on the appropriations conversation. mr. wiegmann: yes. so, as i alluded to in my written testimony, the president's request for fy 22 discretionary funding which was released in april does ask for address -- additional resources to address this threat, so another $101 million in this area, which would be $45 million to the fbi for domestic terrorism related investigations. $40 million to handle the increasing caseloads. $12 million for the marshall's and $4 million for the national institute of justice for
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additional resource. -- research. that is the amount the rep -- -- administration has been requesting. there have already been some shifting of resources as well. rep. cline: so, 10% roughly. fy 21 to fy 22. ok. me ask you a broader question, listening to you and also taking a look and looking at the other budgets, one of the major conclusions of the post 9/11 commission was stove piping across too many departments throughout government. where there was no coordination or intelligence was not shared. where there was not any kind of central correlating body, and we made corrections and perhaps the result has been mixed but the conclusion was that -- was a
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valid one. is that happening in the area of domestic terrorism. do you perceive that there is a comparable situation? we fund the doj and we fund the department of homeland security and a lot of places from this perspective. does there need to be a better coordination of those resources across departments or agencies of government? do you feel comfortable in the coordination? ms. sanborn: i will start. it is not necessarily a resource answer, per se, but having lived through 9/11 and the commission report i can appreciate where you have come from and having been in the cia for two years i am a big proponent of partnerships. as we encounter the threat, we really take you near and dear to us our partnership with dhs as well as the support we get from nctc and state and local
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partners. i do not think there are silos and stovepipes, there is always room to educate of more indicators and warnings and that is room for growth, to continue those training efforts, but i do not think there are silos and stovepipes, but i think there are partnerships. we have 200,000 local partners across the country who represents just that. rep. case:, my time is up so i will defer back. reppo chair -- cartwright -- rep. cartwright: we recognize the representative. >> i want to thank both of the witnesses for your service, i appreciate it. during last month's senate judiciary hearing on this topic, the fbi director stated's -- "racially motivated violent extremism, especially the sort were advocates for the
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superiority of the white weight -- race is persistent, evolving threat. it is the biggest chunk of our racially motivated violent extremism cases for sure. and racially motivated violent extremism is the biggest chunk of our domestic terrorists portfolio. so, we talked a bit today already about the rise of this toxic discourse, this toxic information. i -- if you could expand more we would hear more about the role of social media and what social media and even direct media and some of the networks that seem to think this was a good thing. and radicalizing and recruiting individuals who are receptive to this extremist messaging. ms. sanborn: i think we talked about it a little bit.
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obviously social media has increased not only the speed but the ability to disseminate and the acceptability of all kinds of violent extremist rhetoric, both international and domestic. i am very happy with the amount of cooperation we get with the social media companies. there is always time for growth on that. but as i mentioned educating them on what the threats are that we faced allows us to be thoughtful and mindful as i think about the terms of use, and i think that that is a great sign and a move forward. rep. trone: what do you think about some of our networks having an opinion, it is no longer the news. it is what they think the news means and they are pushing people to the left or right. do you think that has served as a backdrop, a supporting mechanism to ferment these rebel
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-- radicalized behaviors because a lot of the information that we are hearing on these networks are slightly miss information. -- disinformation. ms. sanborn: i think that is an interesting topic and i do not know enough specifically to have an opinion either way, but we talked about this a little bit re-flee. we take heart-to-heart art mission of protecting individuals' first amendment rights as much as it is our right to protect the american people, so we are cognizant of trying to walk the line of really focusing on the violence and intense, and not focusing on necessarily the ideology or even the assembly with like-minded individuals. we look really closely at trying to find the individual ready to break federal law. rep. trone: thank you. how is the migration to the
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fringe and crypto platforms impacted your ability amongst individuals and groups who share this ideology, and talk more about what challenges it is creating, these encrypted platforms to the law enforcement ability to detect threats. ms. sanborn: i think encrypted munication definitely present a great challenge and will continue to do so into the future. while it is not an extremist example i think the best example i could throw out for you of that challenge is the attack in pensacola. that individual was talking with al qaeda up until the night before and we were unable to get that information as quickly as the citizens of this country should expect. so encrypted to keep -- encrypted communications and the inability to get those is probably one of the most significant challenges we face in the future. rep. trone: quickly because we are almost out of time, what can
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congress do to ensure that the sources that -- resources that we allocate to protect national security also while ensuring these resources are not later used the target the very communities that are the most vulnerable and perhaps the most overly surveilled already? mr. wiegmann: well, as ms. sanborn explained we have rules about when we can initiate an investigation, we have the attorney general's guidelines and the fbi has guidelines and a fixed set of rules that are strictly followed in terms of when they can initiate any investigative activity and what the standards are, details for online and operational activity, and i know that is something that the fbi takes seriously, and that would be for majority groups, religion, race, and any
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other sensitive categories. we are super careful about how we do these investigations and making sure that we comply with those. rep. trone: i yield back. rep. cartwright:. we begin our next round of questioning and i want to forget -- pick up where mr. trone left off. christopher wray did talk about the rise of right ring violent extreme -- right ring violent extremism and this is what he said. "when it comes to racially motivated violent extremism that number of investigations and arrests has grown significantly on my watch. and number of arrests, for example of racially motivated violent extremists who are what you would categorize as white supremacists, last year was almost tripled the number it was
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in my first year as director, and ms. sanborn, is that a trend that you have been seeing? ms. sanborn: yes, sir. reppo cartwright -- rep. cartwright: and so, i guess the question is, can either of you identify which domestic violent extremist category should receive the closest attention with some context with to how we should gauge their significance, and explain the basis for identifying the category that you identified as deserving of attention. ms. sanborn: thank you for the question, this is a process i am passionate about. we go through a process every year to look at the threats that we face going into the next year. and we really think about what is the risk and how can we
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mitigate the risk. as we went through that process this year, and actually it started a couple of years ago with the director, we definitely see racially or ethnically -- ethnically motivated extremists on par with isis and the homegrown violence -- violent extremist. that has also shown us that antigovernment and anti-authority is something that we should pay attention to as it was right below the other priorities at risk. rep. cartwright: alright, the next question is estimating the number of persons who might be involved with, support or be sympathetic to domestic violence extremism objectives, it is certainly a difficult task given the need to protect civil liberties and acknowledging the
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problem of loan actors as we touched on before -- lone actors, and so why you might not be able to have an estimate of persons that you believe are in gauged in these activities, can you say whether the fbi carries out such analysis, and if so if more detail might be provided the committee in a secure setting? ms. sanborn: i think what you are asking is how do we find the unknowns, and i think we do it two different ways. we are constantly using community outreach as well as state and local partners for some referrals. we also use already predicated investigations, the same network analysis that we would have done with drug cases. we have continued applying those same tools to terrorism cases including domestic violent extremism, and target discovery of what the unknown threat might be from an individual is
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something we dedicate a significant amount of resources to. rep. cartwright: this question is for you and mr. wiegmann. and it is one suggested by our colleagues, congresswoman brenda lawrence of michigan, who could not be with us, she is in transit. she is interested in this and i am too. there criminal cold -- code and sentencing guidelines. it is the involvement of domestic violence extremism is that taken into account, is that an aggravating factor as part of sentencing, walk us through that, if you will. mr. wiegmann: it is, absolutely. in the u.s. code, it defines what is considered a federal crime and terrorism, that could be domestic or international. if it qualifies as a federal crime under the sentencing
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guidelines you get a significant sentencing persons that involve a federal crime of terrorism which can increase the guidelines' range to the statutory maximum. there is also an upward departure for other sentences that could be calculated to influence or affect the government by intimidation. so absolutely, there is a provision in the guidelines and u.s. code for such enhancement for those matters. rep. cartwright: my time is up, and i am going to yield the floor to our ranking member for five minutes. rep. aderholt: thank you. i will direct us to ms. sanborn. all forms of domestic terrorism must be condemned and we agree with that, and no one should tolerate agitators or extremists
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who plan to commit violence. does the fbi designate any domestic terrorists groups by name? ms. sanborn: no, the fbi is not a part of any domestic terrorism designation process. in my understanding one does not exist for the united states. rep. aderholt: do you believe that the mental health impacts related to covid-19, isolation, has contributed to domestic -- the growth we have seen in domestic terrorism? ms. sanborn: i do not have any specific data related to covid-19. we definitely -- this is something we work closely with. just the mental health in general across the country and the effects of that potentially on individuals and the potential risks that could put somebody taken the dutch to conduct acts of violence. -- to conduct acts of violence. rep. aderholt: i will address
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this to either one of you. in the united states we depend on law enforcement to focus on action, and not thoughts. what challenges does it present, as the justice department works to conduct threat assessments related to violent extremism when again, we focus on actions and not on thoughts? ms. sanborn: i will start and if brad wants to chime in. it definitely poses a big challenge for us and i would say primarily the reason is the amount of just sort of rhetoric out there in general and rhetoric can be hateful. looking specifically for that one sliver of this is an individual who is plotting something is definitely a challenge because of the amount of data out there, and being cognizant of individuals'
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rights. rep. aderholt: given your extensive experience intact -- in counterterrorism operations throughout the years. what strategies do you think can be employed to prevent mastic terror without violating the actual rights of american citizens? ms. sanborn: thank you for that question. i think it is really see something, say something. community members, employers, parents, etc.. we have found that almost every single time, we call it the bystander phenomena, almost every single time when we interview family members and friends they say i started to notice something, something was starting to change with this individual, and so educating people and getting them to warn not only left -- allows for attentional intervention but also to get that person if it is
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a mental health issue help instead of them being jailed later on. i think the community and awareness is arch strongest tool. -- our strongest tool. rep. aderholt: thank you. sometimes, politicians will, in my opinion inaccurately claim that president trump called white supremacists find people, and that can provoke heated reactions. do you believe that efforts to combat disinformation can help to counteract the growth of domestic terrorism? ms. sanborn: i do not really have. i do not know enough information to comment on specific disinformation avenues. mr. wiegmann: i would just add
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that disinformation is something that we are concerned about when it comes to conspiracy theories and things that contribute to a culture of violence. it is a difficult problem but it is something that we wrestle with. domestic terrorism, it just depends on social media and so forth. it is something to be concerned about. rep. aderholt: what other strategies do you think can be implemented to deter domestic terrorism in this letter cold climate that we live in that is very divided right -- deter this political climate that we live in right now. ms. sanborn: i think people getting held accountable is a deterrent, and the great partnership that we have with prosecutors and holding people accountable can be a great deterrent for the future.
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mr. wiegmann: i agree with that and on the others, identifying people, when people do what jill said and identify someone that is headed down a path of violence, we have worked on a violence prevention program where we try to work to turn people away from violence and as jill explained earlier, it could be personal reaven says mixed up with conspiracy theories and other problems they might be having, and if we can have intervention is dutch interventions, there could be other ways apart from the criminal justice system that they can be turned away from violence and those of the things that we work on the dhs has funding for the local level. it is not something that law enforcement takes the lead on but it is something that we can facilitate with local communities, and i just wanted to mention --
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rep. aderholt: thank you. i see my time has expired. rep. cartwright: mr. case, you are recognized for five minutes. rep. case: thank you. ms. sanborn, i will start here and following up on our conversation about coordination and i mentioned -- i am happy that you mention state and local partners. we of course fund many of these programs. we have stayed home and security grants and urban area security initiatives and, if we add all of those members up, it exceeds the justice counterterrorism budget, all courses those are all not directed to domestic terrorism. my question is a funny -- very general one, and i would like you to expand on how those programs are going with your
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state and local law enforcement partners and how are they morphing as your own responsibilities ramp-up and are collected concerns ramp-up. are those programs -- do they have enough flexibility to adjust to the times? ms. sanborn: i think they do, and i think those programs are going well. we benefit greatly from the department of homeland security centers, one of the ones i have personal experience with that i can tell you with, the one that has predicated a lot of cases for us is that one out of orange county, california. we benefit greatly from those centers and the relationship that we have with them. also, there are a lot of instances that i can tell you about where thanks to the low -- work of our state and local partners and say they are on the heels of a search warrant, they notice something that alerts them to a potential extremist
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ideology being present and we benefit from the referrals of teaching them what to look for in that partnership and that has continued to pay off as well. rep. case:: is that part of the programs? where do they actually get that? where is actually interaction going on from a teaching perspective? i would assume that throughout the country, with thousands and thousands of agencies out there at the state and local level that some are just very good at recognizing the signs that are reporting back and some that are a little bit more removed from washington, d.c. in that way. how do you actually get that education across? ms. sanborn: that is a great question, and everything we do comes out of our funding, we would fund teaching them, the
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different things we want them to pay attention to, and it comes with the day-to-day interaction, and that again is something that we would fund on the joint terrorism task force. they get formal training and they participate in executive board meetings that happen at minimum quarterly and often times monthly, and then their day-to-day presence is also almost on-the-job training as they work hand-in-hand with us. rep. case:: going back to the middle part of my question, i assume that you are saying that yes, they are in their current construct flexible enough to adjust to what you believe you need from your state and local law enforcement partners right now. ms. sanborn: i believe so, and as i mentioned, that is one area that we would potentially grow with our increase in potential resources, adding task force officers in training, and etc.. rep. case: mr. wiegmann,
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anything to add? mr. wiegmann: no, sir. rep. case: i will ask you the kind of general question about your anti-terrorism advisory councils with the u.s. attorneys. i think it was a great part of your mind as well -- the front lines as well. -- i have the wrong person to ask the question of, go ahead. mr. wiegmann: we think they work pretty well. we wanted to make sure that they focus on international and domestic terrorism, but right now they are doing the domestic terrorism threats. they work closely with the authorities already described, so we think they are functioning effectively, but we are doubling down in light of the current environment and the increase of training to be sure that they
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are doing everything possible to make sure that they have what they need for the people, personnel, and training to make sure that they are on top of that. rep. case: that is part of your budget increase? mr. wiegmann: it is part of it. rep. case: thank you very much. rep. cartwright:, mr. cline, you are recognized. rep. cline: i want to circle back to his answer to a question that i was having some technical difficulties from a remote location. mr. wiegmann, the mission by the national security division is to protect the united dates from threats to our national security by pursuing justice through law, and you mentioned your position on proposals to codify a
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domestic terrorism charge in the criminal code, can you reiterate your position on whether you think that is necessary, and what sections of the code are already in use to combat domestic terrorism? mr. wiegmann: thank you for that question. that is something that we are thinking about as we look at all of our tools to see the environment, are we doing everything we can. one of the things we are looking at is what we need to do with authorities. we think we have been successful in using the authorities already and just to mention the different statutes that we use in this area. we have weapons charges, charges related to explosives, threat, riot, hoax charges and attacks on federal officials. hate crimes and also -- and arson. the question that we wrestle with is are there gaps?
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is there some type of conduct that we condition that we cannot cover or would be a benefit. or would there be a benefit in having something else other than what we are having now. we have not reached conclusions, and if we do come up with something we will work with the committee and others in congress to work that out, but we have not identified anything yet that would be a need for legislation, but it is something we are considering. rep. cline: thank you, i would ask that you keep in touch with members on both sides of the aisle on this committee and the judiciary committee if you are working towards that end. mr. wiegmann: absolutely. rep. cline: thank you. that was my remaining question and i yield back. rep. cartwright: mr. garcia, you are recognized. rep. garcia: i just wanted to follow-up on our previous conversation. we defined domestic terrorism and we talked about some of the
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cases or some of the situations around the mate -- the nation in our metropolitan areas and january 6. we ended with mr. wiegmann that domestic terrorism itself is not an applicable or available charge. that is a correct statement, right? mr. wiegmann: that is correct. rep. garcia: the federal code it does provide enhancements, one of which is maximizing the statutory -- enhancing the statutory maximum's
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terrorism charge per se. >> there is a federal crime and terrorism, right? not just international terrorism, correct? rep. garcia: the when i think of the most -- mr. wiegmann: what a thing of the most is material supported terrorism. there is also transcending international boundaries. there are areas that are closer. >> i would love to get your
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input on whether there should be an charge for dramatic terrorism under the statute but we can defer that for later conversation. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. garcia. you will get the chance in the third round. there are only four of us. i want to pick up on something mr. case was talking about, coordination among agencies in the fight against terrorism of any stripe. the data on domestic terrorism, unlike that of international terrorism, it does not maintain any single repository. it does not pop up easily on an internet search.
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fbi, atf all keep different data. some only accessible through freedom of information act requests. there are multiple private databases such as trac at syracuse, and start at the university of maryland. this alphabet soup of information may keep researchers employed but it is not easy to sift through. mr. wiegmann, does in his track prosecutions and convictions related to domestic terrorism and dve's? if not, please explain. mr. wiegmann: here is the challenge. it can be confusing on the data tracking. until recently the process was decentralized.
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offices around the country were bringing cases. it could just be a weapons charge, a threat charge, could be arson. you don't know what the charge might be. there wasn't a centralized mechanism for overseeing. within the civil rights division, the tax division -- terrorists refused to pay taxes. you had different divisions. we have taken steps to address the situation. that means data collection for doj. i talked about this a little bit in my testimony. a new mechanism for they will have to report to the counterterrorism section any cases that are dve related.
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it sets a dve related and centralized mechanism that will help track it going forward. we are taking steps in that direction. rep. cartwright: please pass it up the chain if more resources are needed to get that done. by the way, to both witnesses, you have received requests from members of our subcommittee, mr. klein, mr. garcia for more information. i would consider it the right thing to do on behalf of the entire subcommittee. please cooperate and give them what they need. ms. sanborn, fiscal year 2021 appreciation -- appropriation requires not later than 100 -- 180 days after the enactment of the act on the number of incidents in fiscal years 2016 through 2020 that requires
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surveillance, investigation and prosecution of white supremacist activity for racially motivated violent extremism associated with white supremacist ideology and available incidents where the fbi deferred to state or local authorities. is the bureau on track to provide that support? --ms. sanborn: domestic violent extremist threat. rep. cartwright: let's follow up on that. to the extent, statistics on dve incidents could be shared and more transparent, if sanitizer aggregate form to congress on the public, is that something the fbi would support?
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ms. sanborn: i think that is exactly what the product entity nda will provide. i think it has been classified in the report in the works getting coordinated on now is that the unclassified level so it is shareable with you and the community. rep. cartwright: thank you. i yield to the ranking member. rep. aderholt: in his testimony before the senate, director ray depicted the group that came into the capital on january 6, the protesters as an inverted pyramid. with peaceful protesters, revising the largest numbers and at the next level for people who intended to protest and were swept up in the momentum of the day, mostly engaging in
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low-level trespassing. the third group was the most threatening. those were the ones that breached the grounds of the capital and engaged in acts of violence. i would ask this question to either one of you. among those who protested at the capital on january 6 --capitol on january 6, how many were actually mastic violent extremists? ms. sanborn: we wouldn't necessarily have a collection on individuals who were exercising their first amendment right to protest. but we focused on in the inverted pyramid was described as the small bucket that showed up intent on conducting harm. those are the individuals that assaulted federal officers, breached the building and got inside. there are definitely some of those individuals we look at as domestic violence extremist.
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we cannot comment on particulars but the smaller tip of the pyramid is what we focused on and some of this individuals fall into that category. rep. aderholt: would you distinguish those from low-level trespassing? ms. sanborn: yes, sir. we have cases on individuals who made it into the capital that may be potentially were involved in the actual breach and-or the assault on federal officers. the evidence we presented to the u.s. attorney resulted in trespassing charges. rep. aderholt: as far as the people that have been charged in connection with the january 6 -- with the militant and domestic terrorism networks, what will be your guess or do you know how many people have been charged?
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mr. wiegmann: over 430 people have been charged. the number keeps changing and will keep going up. does that answer your question? rep. aderholt: yes, sir. do you believe the prolonged security measures we currently have at the u.s. capitol have been appropriate to prevent domestic terror threats? ms. sanborn: i will start. i don't have any specifics on the actual mechanisms in place. one phenomenon we have seen in the international terrorism side is we know our adversaries in the terrorism space pay attention to hard and soft targets. it's always a potential deterrent. we have seen them pay attention to that and comment on soft versus hard targets.
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i would imagine that is true for all adversaries. mr. wiegmann: i would defer to security experts on that. rep. aderholt: what are some examples or incidents where the fbi has identified antifa violence, for people subscribing to antifa in the recent months or years? how successful has the justice department been prosecuting members of the nt for extremist violent groups? ms. sanborn: i will start with highlighting antifa is a real thing and it falls into our antigovernment, anti-authority overarching bucket. anarchist violent extremists. we have cases on individuals who self identify with antifa. thinking back on my last year, i
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can only think of one individual in particular who would have self identified with antifa who conducted a violent act, mr. ryan hall when he shot aaron danielson. rep. aderholt: mr. wiegmann? mr. wiegmann: there have been cases in a category of anarchists. extremists. which is what antifa falls into the bucket. whether we have any individual case where the person as antifa, i'm not sure. we have some cases against anarchists. the case that ms. sanborn mentioned where the individual was killed before he was able to be apprehended. that person did self identify as antifa.
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the absence of an indication of a charging document if someone self identifies is not necessarily an indication that there aren't indications. you don't necessarily have ideology that someone has identified with and associated with a riot or other behavior. you might not have that based on the charges or it is not necessary for the case. sorry to complicate your question but we will not necessarily know. people may not announce themselves what they are affiliated with. we have a number of cases that we would put in the anarchist bucket and the people associated with the antifa movement. rep. aderholt: thank you, mr. chairman. rep. cartwright: thank you. mr. case, you are recognized for five minutes. rep. case: i just want to say i
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personally appreciate your testimony and your service. it's a very hard time to get this right. i appreciate your assessment of where we are and what we need to do. let me talk about our military. one of the unfortunate and tragic realities we've had to face is extreme them -- extremism within the armed services. the fbi has reviewed this and reported to our armed services committees on the subject about last june, i think it was. i'm interested in following up an understanding the broader picture of what coordinated activities -- i would ask you two questions. is the primary perceived threats more a matter of individual actions by folks enlisting or
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gaining entry to our military who are predisposed to violence, as we have seen in some cases? or is a more organized attempt to get into our military from a terrorism perspective that would give rise to a broader set of concerns? what is the coordination going on between the fbi or justice overall and the military? how is that issue being addressed and where is it going? ms. sanborn: thank you for the question. i understand the importance of it because those individuals in positions of trust. we certainly have domestic violence extremism cases on individuals associated with the military and law enforcement. that number is relatively small. it is primarily on individuals that are formers, not currents.
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i would also note we don't necessarily see a concerted organized effort. we don't necessarily know whether an individual seeks out military or law enforcement because of an ideology or they are in the military and in some sort of violent extremists ideology comes later. we have seen that. it is fairly small. we have a great relationship with the u.s. military. they sit on the national and joint terrorism task force that liberty crossing with us. we get not only referrals from them but those cases -- they take this seriously and had a standdown day will re where we talked with them about violent extremism. rep. case: what about the basics of advanced joining the
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military, or after people in the military, data collection to identify potential risks? just as you are giving the general population, using the early warning systems you have in place through state and local partners. is that coordinated with the military so they have the information they need to make basic decisions about whether to enlist or otherwise admit people to the armed services? ms. sanborn: yes, sir. i think the process i highlighted for you, the relationship when the individual is in the luke perry is robust -- is in the military is robust. is a closer relationship with them and the application process. if somebody ends up washing out for some reason, how do we have a relationship with them where that could be a potential referral to us? that is something months ago
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with her working on them with and we hope to keep perfecting. rep. case: do they consult with you on enlistments from the perspective of cross coordinating between their information sources in your information sources? ms. sanborn: no, sir. not that i'm aware of. we had conversations of how to have a process and improve the process, it's not mature yet but that is one area we can continue to work closer with them on and try to make it as effective of process of the individual already in service. rep. case: mr. wiegmann, anything to add? mr. wiegmann: no, sir. rep. case: thank you very much. i yield back. rep. cartwright: thank you, mr. case. mr. garcia, we recognize you for the last five and its of questions. make them good ones. rep. garcia: i will do my best. ms. sanborn, you mentioned
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something a few minutes ago where you said -- i think i have it written down. there has only been one member who has self identified as antifa that went on to commit violent acts that you are aware of. i think you cited mr. michael reynolds killed aaron ingalls and -- danielson. really only one person who has self identified as antifa went to commit violent act? ms. sanborn: thank you for the question because it is a for some clarification. of people on our radar screen in my last one year as assistant director, i cannot think -- i can only think of one subject who self identified with antifa as part of our violent extremists cases that conducted a violent act.
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it's very possible other self identifying antifa individuals might have done something that is just not in -- not on our radar. rep. garcia: i would submit there has been dozens, if not hundreds of self identified antifa members who have maybe not killed someone or committed murder but have been looting, finally confronting law enforcement around our nation in various cities, starting fires, tearing down businesses, etc. i want to make sure we are not -- while we are putting a spotlight on what you called the far-right domestic violence, we are not also forgetting those from the far-left. frankly, everyone in between. this is a problem that deserves to be treated as such. thank you for the clear occasion. mr. wiegmann, i apologize. i want to go back to the last question, my fadeaway shot from
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the last round. do you think having a discrete charge of domestic terrorism is warranted? if so, why or why not? mr. wiegmann: it is something we are considering. the overall mission has been successful. we have a lot of criminal statutes in our toolkit we talked about today that we use. we have not identified a lot of cases where we cannot charge someone with a lack of authority. we are looking to see if additional charge would be useful and we can come up with something and work with the congress on that. rep. garcia: i am keenly interested. i want to see the data behind the enhancement tools, whether they have been applied to the success of those applications in presentencing and during the sentencing phase.
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these words matter. the statutes matter. enhancements matter. having that close feedback loop on the effects of these enhancements and tools being made available is very important. it is not is being used as a political tool to weaponize something against a certain demographic. just to be clear, the ask is if we can, let's bout it with an 18-month scope. places where the enhancement tools, not the charges but the tools that come with the enhanced capabilities have been applied in any of the riots or the events on january 6. obviously if there are any charges that have gotten through the sentencing phase, if there have been any applications of the enhanced statutory maximum spring applied to those charges
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as a result of having a flavor of domestic terrorism, that specifically is the information. i'm not asking you to boil the ocean or get very charge being looked at that may have the enhancements. just the riots within our cities related to the various movements, as well as january 6. mr. wiegmann: we will see what kind of information we can generate for you. rep. garcia: i yield back, mr. chairman. rep. cartwright: to the witnesses, executive assistant directed sanborn, and assistant attorney general wiegmann, thank you for appearing for questioning. this is a particular pleasure for members of congress to be able to interrogate fbi agent's and federal prosecutors. we appreciate your answers.
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i appreciate your willingness to engage with our members to satisfy their concerns. with that, this hearing is hereby adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] >> this evening, mike pence will deliver his first public remarks since leaving office in january. he is the figure -- featured speaker of a fundraiser from a social conservative group in south carolina. watch live coverage starting at 7:00 p.m. on c-span,, or the same with the free c-span radio app. >> now hearing on the president's 2022 budget request from the library of congress, the congressional budget office, and the government accountability office. this hearing is about an hour.


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