LIVE: House committee hearing on the rise of domestic terrorism
The participants of the hearings qualified the right-wing extremist groups as the main threat
The House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee is hearing on Thursday on domestic terrorism in light of the January attack on the Capitol.
According to the head of the committee, Congressman Benny Thompson, the attack "was not an isolated incident.".
"Over a year ago, FBI Director (Christopher) Ray, speaking to this committee, warned that domestic terrorism is at an all-time high and that violent, racially motivated extremists pose the greatest threat," he said, adding that the threat from the right extremism has been on the rise for several years, and the events in the Capitol are the result of a lack of adequate response.
Christopher Rodriguez, director of the DC Department of Homeland Security and Emergencies, said: "This attack has most clearly exposed the threat from domestic terrorists in general and right-wing extremism in particular.".
He added that these movements feed on lies and misinformation, and foreign states, including Russia, "fan the flames of cultural conflicts in the United States.".
“Our foreign adversaries do this by creating or fanning false narratives that hit the very heart of democracy: that our elections were rigged; that our system is inherently corrupt and must be overthrown; that radical voices calling for violence or rebellion have legitimate views to be heeded, ”he said.
The head of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, spoke at the hearing, saying: “Anyone who has paid attention to extremist activity across the country or to the chorus of disinformation and hatred that rages in extremist media and some corners of social media will tell you what happened in the US Capitol January 6 was in some ways the most predictable outbreak of political violence in American history. ".
According to him, the events at the Capitol were the result of years of efforts to spread disinformation and conspiracy theories, including by organizations such as QAnon, Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters..
Greenblatt described right-wing extremism as the main threat in the realm of domestic terrorism. “We cannot afford to play down this threat. To combat it, we need a bipartisan approach that brings together all government departments and the whole of society, and we need to start work now, ”he stressed..