Eric Holder Pivots To ‘Homegrown’ Terror

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Boston Police officers stand guard at a makeshift memorial set up on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts on April 16, 2013. Security is still high in the city after two bombs detonated on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon killing 3 and injuring 150. UPI/Matthew Healey

Describing last year’s Boston Marathon bombing as a “homegrown threat,” Attorney General Eric Holder announced Tuesday the revival of a domestic anti-terror task force originally formed during the Presidency of Bill Clinton. The goal of the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, he said, is to augment Federal law enforcement’s focus on foreign-bred terrorism, rooted in culture and ideology, with redoubled scrutiny directed toward “self-radicalized” nutcases in the United States as well.

The Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee (DTEC), said Holder, “Will be comprised of leaders from components within the Department of Justice, and co-chaired by a member of the U.S. Attorney community, the National Security Division, and the FBI.” DTEC will engage in information sharing with multiple tiers of law enforcement nationwide to identify and monitor domestic terror threats.

In his weekly video address Monday, Holder explained the revival of the task force as a counter to “the danger we face” from the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, mass shooting and the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, both of which he characterized as “homegrown threats.”

Horrific terror incidents like the tragic shootings at Fort Hood and last year’s Boston Marathon bombing demonstrate the danger we face from these homegrown threats.

Now — as the nature of the threat we face evolves to include the possibility of individual radicalization via the Internet — it is critical that we return our focus to potential extremists here at home.

Former Attorney General Janet Reno first launched the task force following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City — an attack that later resulted in the execution of Timothy McVeigh and a life sentence for Terry Nichols, both of whom Federal prosecutors characterized as far-right anti-government radicals.

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Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.