Terrorism

Justice Department hires lawyer to fight domestic terrorism; sovereign citizens a key concern

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The U.S. Justice Department has created a new position to coordinate domestic terrorism cases and identify ways to battle homegrown terrorists.

John Carlin, the assistant attorney general for national security, announced on Wednesday that the position was filled this week, report NBC News, the Hill and CBS News. His prepared remarks are here.

Carlin said the new person will serve “as our main point of contact for U.S. attorneys working on domestic terrorism matters.” The new lawyer will also play a key role “to identify trends to help shape our strategy, and to analyze legal gaps or enhancements required to ensure we can combat these threats,” he said. Justice Department officials did not identify the person hired for the position.

Carlin said that, in the past few years, more people have died in this country in attacks by domestic extremists than in attacks associated with international terrorist groups. White supremacists are the most violent group among domestic extremist movements, he said, citing the racist views of the alleged shooter in Charleston, South Carolina, who killed nine people attending a Bible study.

He also cited concerns about the sovereign citizen movement. One 2014 study found that state and local law enforcement officials considered sovereign citizens a top concern, above extremists inspired by ISIS and al-Qaeda.

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