ABSTRACT

Domestic Terrorism: An Overview [August 21, 2017]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The emphasis of counterterrorism policy in the United States since Al Qaeda's attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) has been on jihadist terrorism. However, in the last decade, domestic terrorists-people who commit crimes within the homeland and draw inspiration from U.S.-based extremist ideologies and movements-have killed American citizens and damaged property across the country. Not all of these criminals have been prosecuted under federal terrorism statutes, which does not imply that domestic terrorists are taken any less seriously than other terrorists. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) do not officially designate domestic terrorist organizations, but they have openly delineated domestic terrorist 'threats'. These include individuals who commit crimes in the name of ideologies supporting animal rights, environmental rights, anarchism, white supremacy, anti-government ideals, black separatism, and beliefs about abortion. The boundary between constitutionally protected legitimate protest and domestic terrorist activity has received public attention. This boundary is highlighted by a number of criminal cases involving supporters of animal rights-one area in which specific legislation related to domestic terrorism has been crafted. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (P.L. 109-374) expands the federal government's legal authority to combat animal rights extremists who engage in criminal activity. Signed into law in November 2006, it amended the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-346)."

Report Number:CRS Report for Congress, R44921
Author:Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Publisher:Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service
Date:2017-08-21
Copyright:Public Domain
Retrieved From:Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Format:pdf
Media Type:application/pdf
URL:https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=803523
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Listed on August 30, 2017 [Critical Releases]
Listed on Domestic (U.S.) Terrorism [Featured Topic]