Dem Senator introduces bill combatting 'violent white supremacists' and homegrown right-wing terrorism
Neo-Nazis and white supremacists rally outside South Carolina state capital (Photo: screencapture)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced on Thursday that he has introduced legislation to combat the rise of white supremacist and other right-wing extremist groups.

Durbin, who serves as the Senate's minority whip, said in a statement that the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would address these threats "by requiring federal law enforcement agencies to regularly assess those threats and provide training and resources" to state, local and tribal police.

He also cited FBI and Homeland Security statistics which found that "white supremacists were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016—more than any other domestic extremist movement."

“Violent white supremacist groups and other right-wing extremists are the most significant domestic terror threat facing the United States today,” Dubin said in the statement. “But too often when violent tragedy strikes our people, the conversation only shifts to terrorism if the perpetrator is from another country."

"Our own federal law enforcement agencies recognize that terrorism is on the rise in our own backyard, and it’s time that Congress take steps to address it," he added.

Piggybacking off of already-existing Justice Department and Homeland Security offices, Durbin's bill would also require those offices to send annual joint reports to "the House and Senate Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Intelligence Committees" about threats posed by white supremacists extremists.

If passed, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would also require the DOJ and Homeland offices to analyze domestic terrorist threats and attacks from the last year and then make their findings publicly available.

"The legislation also codifies the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee (DTEC)," the statement noted, "an interagency task force which was originally created by the Department of Justice in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing."