On Wednesday, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. In his first speech as the US president, he pledged to defeat political extremism and domestic terror.
A rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront, and we will defeat.
US President, Joe Biden
Two days later, Biden ordered the Director of National Intelligence to work with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the threat from domestic violent extremism.
We are committed to developing policies and strategies based on facts, on objective and rigorous analysis, and honor respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities.
Our initial work on DVE (Domestic Violent Extremism) will broadly fall into three areas.
The first is a tasking from President Biden sent to the ODNI (office of the director of intelligence) today, requesting a comprehensive threat assessment, coordinated with the FBI and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) on domestic violent extremism.
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary
The fast paced move shows how seriously the new US administration is taking the issue and the aftermath of the January 6 demonstration in which pro Trump protesters overran the Capitol.
The National Intelligence office was created in 2001, after the September, 11 attacks with the goal of combating international terrorism.
The involvement of the National Intelligence office suggests that US authorities are examining how to pivot to a more concerted focus on violence from extremists at home.
People in the US who don't want any more wars, who want money to be used for poverty and homelessness, here, those people are now going to be cracked down on with the same policies that they're using to the right wing extremist. And so I think it took a while for the Biden administration, the democrats to do this because I think now they're also going to use it to attack people on the anti imperialist left the anti war left who don't want any conflict abroad.
Ramiro Funez, Editor, Anticonquista
What happened at the US Capitol raised questions about whether federal government's national security apparatus, that for decades has moved aggressively to combat what are called threats from foreign terror groups, is adequately equipped to address the threat of domestic terrorism.
In the US Congress lawmakers passed the measure, requiring intelligence agencies to work on annual reports and strategic assessments of domestic extremism.
Many lawmakers blame far right, white supremacist extremism, as the most dangerous threat in America. Indeed, they have evidence for their claim.
A report conducted by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies shows that white supremacist and other far right groups, conducted two thirds of the terrorist plots and attacks in the US in 2020. It says that anarchists, and other like minded extremists, orchestrated 20% of the plots and attacks.
The number of incidents grew from previous years. These groups mostly targeted law enforcement, military and government facilities and personnel.
Last August, Michael German, a former FBI Special Agent published a report in which it was revealed that white supremacist groups have infiltrated US law enforcement agencies in every region of the country over the last two decades. The report said US law enforcement officials have been tied to racist militant activities in more than a dozen states, since the year 2000.
It noted that hundreds of police officers have been caught posting racist and bigoted social media content. The reports finds that the main reason US law enforcement have failed to respond to far right domestic terror threats is that they, themselves, are involved in such crimes.
From the very beginning, the US state intelligence apparatus, whether it's domestic or foreign the FBI, the CIA has been based entirely on the enslavement of African people… indigenous peoples.
And so this notion that Biden and the democrats are going to crack down on racism within and try to eradicate it is kind of nonsense because at its very core the US state has been repressive, has been based on colonialism & slavery.
Ramiro Funez, Editor, Anticonquista
Concerns about alleged relations between far right groups and law enforcement in the US have intensified since the start of the protest movement sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in the summertime.
Investigation shows that there were off duty officers in the rally and helped others to storm the Capitol building.
A poll conducted by Reuters news agency after the insurrection at the Capitol found that 12% of Americans have supported the move.
With their enormous power, Department issued weapons and access to sensitive information, police departments have become attractive recruiting grounds for white supremacist groups.
Because of the secretive nature of such groups, it is hard to say how many officers are involved, but since 2009 police officers in dozens of US states have been identified as members of white supremacist groups.