White supremacists were responsible for all race-based domestic terrorism incidents in 2018, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report obtained by Yahoo News on Friday, August 8.
According to Yahoo, the report, which was prepared by New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security Preparedness, was made public while the Trump administration was “unable or unwilling to provide data to Congress on white supremacist domestic terrorism.” It shows that 25 of the 46 people involved in 32 different domestic terrorism incidents were identified as white supremacists.
But Congressmembers never saw the report — because the Justice Department would not give them the figures.
“This is disappointing but unfortunately not surprising. In April, the Justice Department and the FBI briefed Senate Judiciary Committee staff on domestic terrorism, nearly six months after Sen. Durbin’s office first requested the briefing,” an aide to Senator Dick Durbin (D-Il), a member of the Judiciary Committee, told Yahoo News. “At the briefing, the DOJ and the FBI were unable or unwilling to provide precise data on white supremacist terrorism, and neither agency has responded to our repeated follow-up questions since the briefing.”
A spokesperson from the Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment from MTV News.
“While white supremacy is not a new phenomenon in America, it’s incredibly troubling the way the movement has been emboldened and the administration’s efforts to obfuscate the data on these terrorist incidents simply defies logic,” Senator Cory Booker, also a member of the Judiciary Committee, told Yahoo News in an email.
The FBI is already facing intense scrutiny over its handling of domestic terrorism and white supremacy at a time when, according to the Washington Post, the threat of white nationalist violence appears to be rising.
“I think in many ways the FBI is hamstrung in trying to investigate the white supremacist movement like the old FBI would,” Dave Gomez, a former FBI supervisor who oversaw terrorism cases, told the Post. “There’s some reluctance among agents to bring forth an investigation that targets what the president perceives as his base. It’s a no-win situation for the FBI agent or supervisor.”
This report became public less than a week after a white supremacist opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and killed 22 people. It was a blatant act of domestic terrorism, and will be treated as such, NBC News reported. The FBI has not classified it as white nationalism-fueled violence. At least one other white supremacist has since been arrested for threatening similar attacks.