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Review to root out white supremacy in Homeland Security

The US Department of Homeland Security is due to perform an internal review to address the state of domestic violent extremism within its own ranks.

Following the Capitol insurrection in January and amid a growing threat of white supremacist violence, the review follows a similar move from the Pentagon to study ‘prohibited extremist activities’ and ‘extremist behaviour’ within the US military.

President Joe Biden has sought to place combatting domestic violence at the centre of his homeland security agenda. In January, DHS issued a terror advisory bulletin that warned ‘ideologically motivated violent extremists’ motivated by ‘perceived grievances fuelled by false narratives’ could ‘continue to mobilise to incite or commit violence’. The warning remains in effect through 30 April.

Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement: “Domestic violent extremism poses the most lethal and persistent terrorism-related threat to our country today. As we work to safeguard our nation, we must be vigilant in our efforts to identify and combat domestic violent extremism within both the broader community and our own organisation. Hateful acts and violent extremism will not be tolerated within our department.”

At the direction of the Secretary, a cross-departmental working group comprised of senior officials will immediately begin a comprehensive review of how to best prevent, detect, and respond to threats related to domestic violent extremism within DHS. This internal team, which will be led by the Department’s Chief Security Officer, will produce a report with recommendations for the Secretary on how best to identify and respond to threats related to domestic violent extremism, including those based on racially- or ethnically-motivated violent extremism.

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