Department of Justice creation of unit focused on domestic terrorism

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department is establishing a specialized unit focused on domestic terrorism, the department’s top national security official told lawmakers on Tuesday, describing a “heightened” threat from violent extremists in the United States.

Deputy Attorney General Matthew Olsen, testifying just days after the nation celebrated the first anniversary of the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, said the amount of FBI investigations into suspected domestic violent extremists has grown more. that doubled since spring 2020.

“We have seen a growing threat from those who are motivated by racial animosity, as well as from those who adhere to extremist anti-government and anti-authority ideologies,” Olsen said.

The department’s National Security Division, which Olsen heads, has a counterterrorism section. But Olsen told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he decided to create a specialized unit on domestic terrorism “to increase our current focus.”

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Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

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