Chairman Lynch And Chairman Raskin Announce Joint Hearing On Confronting Violent White Supremacy

Sep 18, 2019 Issues: Committee on Oversight and Reform, National Security

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 18, 2019) – Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), Chairman of the Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security, and Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Chairman of  the Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, will hold a joint hearing this week to examine how white supremacist extremism has become a global and transnational terrorist threat to U.S. national security.  The hearing will also examine whether additional intelligence, law enforcement, or information sharing mechanisms can be deployed to counter the growing international threat of white nationalist terrorism.  The Chairmen issued the following statement prior to the hearing:

“It’s abundantly clear that violent right-wing extremism is a transnational terrorist threat to U.S. national security. Our subcommittees have already heard from key intelligence officials and subject matter experts who have warned about the risks of not treating this with equal seriousness as we treat other forms of terrorism.  This week, our subcommittees will examine the transnational threat of white nationalist terrorism and consider solutions for how the United States and our international partners should combat it, while preserving the civil rights and liberties of all Americans.”

WHERE:  2154 Rayburn House Office Building

WHEN:  Friday, September 20, 2019

TIME:    9:00 AM

The hearing will be broadcast here.

BACKGROUND

  • Violent white supremacy is on the rise in the United States; since the attacks of September 11, 2001, right-wing terrorists have killed more people in the United States (109) than Islamic extremists (104).  Notably, at least a third of white extremist killers globally since 2011 were “inspired by others who perpetrated similar attacks, professed a reverence for them, or showed an interest in their tactics.” 
  • The internet serves a critical function in the promotion of extremist ideologies and can facilitate the radicalization of sympathizers to violence. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, both al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) used the internet to identify, radicalize, recruit, and inspire potential attackers.  More recently, right-wing extremists have used social media platforms and online chatrooms, such as Gab and 8chan, to reach a wider global audience and radicalize impressionable young people who would not otherwise be exposed to the groups’ violent messages.
  • Despite the growing number of terrorist attacks perpetrated by white supremacists around the world, the U.S. national security community has focused almost exclusively on the threat of Islamic jihadism since September 11, 2001.  Furthermore, the U.S. intelligence community to date has defined violent white supremacy as a purely “domestic” terrorist threat, which prevents U.S. intelligence community agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, among others, from addressing violent white supremacy.

WITNESSES:

Dr. Joshua Geltzer, Director, Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection - Georgetown Law

Dr. Kathleen Belew, Research Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences - Stanford University

Katrina Mulligan, Managing Director, National Security and International Policy - Center for American Progress