Josh Hawley singled out as instigator of possible domestic attacks by former FBI terrorism expert
Sen. Josh Hawley (CSPAN2)

During an appearance on MSNBC's "The Sunday Show," former FBI Special Agent Clint Watts -- who served on the Joint Terrorism Task Force -- name-checked Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) when asked about the rising risk of more domestic terrorism since the Capitol riot on Jan. 6th.

Discussing former President George W. Bush's speech on Saturday where he claimed there is little difference between the 9/11 terrorists and the Donald Trump-supporting Capitol rioters, Watts agreed with the assessment and explained how the rhetoric of conservative rabble-rousers has much in common with Osama bin Laden.

'What can we do?" host Capehart asked. "We know that domestic terrorism is a grave threat --what can we do to stop it?"

"So there are several things that we don't have for domestic terrorism that we did have for the international terrorism over the last 20 years," Watts began. "One is we developed an entire architecture that was focused on a group or relatively defined group, I should say, al Qaeda and then it spawned the Islamic State, so we had a terrorist designation. That we just do not have in the domestic space and it perplexes our ability because that brings up laws and procedures."

"It's been the crux of the debate since January 6th; what are Americans, you know, willing to let American law enforcement do to protect them? It's just not very clear," he continued. "Separately, this is empowered by political leaders, just like during the al Qaeda ISIS era, we looked at people like [Osama] bin Laden -- he wasn't a fighter, he was an inspirer."

"We have that today except it's our elected officials," he suggested. "It's our political leaders that are doing this more than domestic extremists. What you see right there President Trump told them they were going to the Capitol that day. They didn't pick the Capitol, he said it, his organizers they promoted it, his fellow congressmen in the GOP, they promoted it."

"It was Josh Hawley out there fist-bumping the crowd, right? Before it went in," he continued. "That's the thing we look for to see, hey, where are they tipping to. For the most part, the groups aren't picking the targets. It's the elected leaders."

He later added he wasn't worried as much about another pro-Trump rally turning into another domestic terrorism event as he is about "lone wolves," saying, "There are hundreds of [Oklahoma bomber] Tim McVeighs out there."

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