To fight domestic terrorism, AG Garland calls for 'whole of society approach'

Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers a policy address on domestic terrorism

Attorney General Merrick Garland called for a “whole of society approach” to fighting domestic terrorism in a speech Tuesday, going along with the administration’s national strategy for stamping out violent extremism.

“We need not only a whole of government approach but a whole of society approach,” Garland said after praising members of the public for submitting more than 100,000 pieces of digital media to help the FBI investigate in the aftermath of Jan. 6.

“We must not only bring our federal resources to bear. We must adopt a broader societal response to tackle the problem’s deeper roots,” he continued.

Garland’s speech comes hours after the Biden administration unveiled its national strategy for countering domestic terrorism, with officials telling Fox News it’s designed to cut across the political spectrum, while warning that White supremacy and “militia violent extremists” currently present the “most persistent and lethal threats.” 

“In the FBI’s view, the top domestic violence extremist threat comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocated for the superiority of the White race,” Garland said on Tuesday.

Attorney General Merrick Garland departs after speaking at the Justice Department in Washington, on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (Win McNamee/Pool via AP)

The administration is also allocating more than $100 million in additional resources for DOJ, FBI and DHS — included in the president’s fiscal year 2022 budget — to ensure that the government has the analysts, investigators, prosecutors and other personnel and resources it needs to take on domestic terrorism and “do justice when the law has been broken.” 

Meanwhile, some Republicans have taken issue with the Justice Department’s focus on the Capitol riot, alleging a disproportionate focus on the riot as opposed to criminal behavior during the protests and riots across the country after the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

Senate Homeland Security Committee member Ron Johnson, R-Wis., railed against the “unequal application of justice” he sees between the suspects involved in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot and those involved in Antifa and Black Lives Matter protests in cities like Philadelphia, Portland, New York City and Washington over the past year that devolved into criminal activity.

“The fact that I just question the narrative that there were thousands of armed insurrections intent on overthrowing the government; you’ve seen how that’s worked out for me,” Johnson said. “So our colleagues say look at that and decide they don’t want to touch that issue with a 10-foot pole. But this is highly alarming. Every American should be concerned when we see the unequal administration of justice.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Charles Creitz contributed to this report.

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