The US Department of Homeland Security announced on Monday that it would look at the possibility of domestic terrorist terrorism within its own ranks.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas did not specify the reason for the internal investigation, but he did mention the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. He said that it exposed the danger posed by extremists based in the United States.
The department said in a statement that a committee of senior DHS officials “will immediately begin a comprehensive review of how to best prevent, detect, and respond to threats related to domestic violent extremism within DHS,”
In his first budget request, released this month, President Joe Biden called for funds to review any allegations of white nationalist views at immigration compliance agencies under DHS.
Since current and former military service personnel were found to have engaged in the Capitol strike, the US military has since raised questions about white nationalism and other bigotry in its ranks.
Domestic violent extremism, Mayorkas said in a statement on Monday, “poses the most lethal and persistent terrorism-related threat to our country today,” adding that “hateful acts and violent extremism will not be tolerated” within DHS.
Domestic terrorism is a significant subject of the Capitol assault prosecutions, and supporters of right-wing militant organisations like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are among those currently facing criminal indictment in connection with the attacks.