U.S. homeland chief says white supremacists pose 'most persistent' domestic threat

By Ted Hesson and Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White supremacist groups have posed 'the most persistent and lethal threat' of violent extremism in the United States in recent years, acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said at a congressional hearing on Wednesday

Reuters September 24, 2020 02:10:10 IST
U.S. homeland chief says white supremacists pose 'most persistent' domestic threat

US homeland chief says white supremacists pose most persistent domestic threat

By Ted Hesson and Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White supremacist groups have posed "the most persistent and lethal threat" of violent extremism in the United States in recent years, acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said at a congressional hearing on Wednesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his top officials have sought to promote a law-and-order message amid nationwide racial justice protests over the summer, some of which became violent. Wolf has warned of the threat of anarchists or left-wing anti-fascist agitators, but faced criticism from liberal groups for not acknowledging the danger posed by white supremacists.

Wolf's remarks follow a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) whistleblower complaint earlier this month that alleged Wolf attempted to play down U.S. white supremacist activity.

Wolf rejected the whistleblower allegations during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday, calling the claims "patently false" and "a fabrication."

Daryl Johnson, a former DHS analyst, said Wolf's comments acknowledging the threat of white supremacist groups was significant.

"Now, let's see that talk turn into action by devoting more resources," he said.

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday threatened to revoke federal funding for New York City, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, saying the three liberal cities were allowing anarchy and violence on their streets.

During the hearing, Wolf reiterated his position that people with an "anarchist sort of ideology" had targeted a federal courthouse in Portland during clashes between police and protests in July.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said during a congressional hearing last week that the FBI is conducting multiple investigations into violent domestic extremists following months of street protests against racism and police brutality.

Wray said the largest "chunk" of investigations were into white supremacist groups.

(Reporting by Ted Hesson, Mark Hosenball and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Jonathan Oatis and Diane Craft)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.