On Saturday, the Huffington Post reported that the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has forced federal law enforcement officials to re-examine the FBI's priorities — and modify their congressional funding requests in order to revamp the bureau to respond to new domestic terrorism threats.
"The Biden administration has requested more than $100 million in new annual Justice Department spending to address what Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco described as 'emerging domestic terrorism threats,'" reported Ryan Reilly. "The total requested Justice Department annual budget for both international and domestic terrorism comes out to over $1.6 billion."
According to the George Washington University Program on Extremism deputy director Seamus Hughes, these policy shifts were supercharged by the Capitol riot, which "opened up a window within departments and agencies to take a hard look at efforts for the last decade and see what needed to be changed." He added that it "also allowed the White House to push urgency on a process that normally takes years to steer the counterterrorism apparatus in a new direction."
Some voices in government have been warning for years about the growing threat of domestic terrorists. Most famously, the threat was outlined in a 2009 Homeland Security report that was broadly attacked by Republicans as singling out conservative activists —a report that was only validated in the rise of right-wing terrorist attacks in recent years.
"The FBI's request includes $1.8 million in new funding for data collection and $4.4 million for operational expenses. The bureau said it wants 'more extensive surveillance coverage' for domestic terrorism suspects with 'a high propensity for imminent violence,'" said the report. "The FBI said that 'nearly all field offices have an active investigation stemming from this [domestic terrorism] event.' An increase in funding and personnel 'is crucial to the success of the FBI to provide appropriate oversight in these investigations to ensure consistency, compliance, and appropriate use of resources.'"
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