US conducting 850 investigations into domestic terrorism

40% involve violent extremists motivated by religion or race.
Wednesday 08/05/2019
Police officers patrol along a bike lane near the site of a terror attack a day after, in New York on November 1, 2017. (AFP)
Police officers patrol along a bike lane near the site of a terror attack a day after, in New York on November 1, 2017. (AFP)

WASHINGTON - Officials from the Justice and Homeland Security departments say they have more than 850 open investigations into domestic terrorism across the country, and the threat continues to grow.

Speaking before the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, Mike McGarrity, the FBI's top counterterrorism official, said tactics continue to evolve. Like foreign terrorists, those in the US are increasingly radicalized online.

McGarrity says about half of the investigations are anti-government related and 40% involve violent extremists motivated by religion or race.

There is no domestic terrorism statute. The Justice Department relies on other statutes to prosecute ideologically motivated violence by people with no international ties.

That makes it hard to track. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said he was alarmed by the lack of public information on the issue.

(Associated Press)