U.S. revives federal task force to fight homegrown extremists: officials
By Julia Edwards
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is re-establishing a law enforcement group to fight those it designates as domestic terrorists, with an announcement expected on Tuesday, Department of Justice officials said.
Following hate-motivated shootings such as the one at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas City, Missouri in April, federal prosecutors have pressed the need to coordinate intelligence of such criminals on a national level, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The group will coordinate cases that involve Americans who may be spurred to violence for political or prejudicial reasons.
It will include representatives of the FBI, the National Security Division of the Justice Department and the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, which includes representatives of federal prosecutors.
Then Attorney General Janet Reno first established such a task force following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, but it was dismantled after the Sept. 11, 2001 hijacked-plane attacks as the agencies turned their attention toward threats from abroad.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signed a memorandum last month reconstituting the group and will announce the details on Tuesday, one official said.
Events like the April 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, in which the attackers appeared to be influenced by extremist groups abroad, would not fall under the committee’s jurisdiction.
(Reporting by Julia Edwards and Aruna Viswanatha; Editing by Grant McCool)