President Joe Biden’s administration is working on a plan to allow Americans to report “radicalized” friends and family to government agencies in order to combat domestic terrorism, a senior administration official said Monday.
“We will work to improve public awareness of federal resources to address concerning or threatening behavior before violence occurs,” the official said during a press briefing. “And on that, I would just note that one of the things we’re talking about is the need to do something in this space, like the ‘See something’ — ‘If you see something, say something’ concept that has been promulgated previously by DHS.”
The official explained that the administration is working to create “pathways and avenues” that “family members or friends or co-workers” can use to “raise concerns and seek help for those who they have perceived to be radicalizing and potentially radicalizing towards violence.”
“The strategy, which builds upon this fact-based assessment, seeks to organize U.S. government efforts to counter domestic terrorism into four pillars. This overarching goal is the prevention, disruption, and deterrence of domestic terrorism,” the official stated.
The administration will also make moves to fight back against terrorist recruitment and mobilization to violence online through “increased information sharing with the technology sector.”
“In addition, the Department of Defense is incorporating training for servicemembers separating or retiring from the military, who may potentially be targeted by those who seek to radicalize them,” the official noted.
According to the official, the administration believes that “domestic violent extremists, motivated by a range of ideologies, pose an elevated threat to our country in 2021, with racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists — and specifically those who espouse the superiority of the white race — and anti-government militia violent extremists posing the most lethal threat.”
“Further, [a study from law enforcement and intelligence communities] found that violent extremists to promote the superiority of the white race have the most persistent transnational connections and may be in frequent contact with violent extremists abroad,” the official continued.
The official noted that President Biden has taken the threat of domestic terrorism seriously since taking office and that the administration remains “laser focused” on stopping violence.
“We are investing many agencies of the government and resourcing them appropriately and asking our citizens to participate,” the official said. “Because, ultimately, this is really about homeland security being a responsibility of each citizen of our country to help us achieve.”
On Tuesday, the White House announced Biden’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, a first-of-its-kind, four-pillared approach to improve how domestic terrorism is defined, identified, and combated. The strategy’s main aim is to target those with racist or anti-government ideology, which the administration says is espoused by domestic terrorists.
The strategy says that experts and evidence have shown today’s domestic terrorists include those who espouse “racial or ethnic bigotry and hatred” as well as “anti-government or anti-authority sentiment.” However, anti-law enforcement ideologies such as those espoused by Antifa and Black Lives Matter were not mentioned.