The FBI was set to release a legally mandated report in June compiling data on domestic terrorism, including the threat of white supremacist violence. However, the FBI’s report on domestic terror has been delayed by four months.
The National Defense Authorization Act requires the FBI to specify acts of terror in the U.S. and “ideologies relating to domestic terrorism.” It also mandates the FBI report what their strategy to combat domestic terror is. The report’s delay leaves the U.S. vulnerable against domestic terror as such reports facilitate the allocation of FBI terror-minimizing resources. With no report, those resources go unallocated.
In the midst of this troubling delay, President Donald Trump is threatening to fire current FBI Director Chris Wray after the election. Wray has been public about the threat of white supremacist violence while Trump has downplayed it, according to some, and downright ignored it, according to others.
The reasoning given by the FBI for the domestic terror report’s delay is “limitations caused by COVID-19,” a reason some question.
“I would hate to think that they are reacting to President Trump’s machinations about his dislike for senior leadership in the FBI. This report probably would not be viewed favorably by this administration. That, I think, precipitates the report not being released by Nov. 3,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told The Daily Beast.
“The FBI is committed to continuing with ODNI and DHS on the report and meeting NDAA requirements,” the FBI statement added.
News of the delayed FBI report arrived after it was learned that there was a plot to kidnap Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The plot also referenced a plan related to doing the same to the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam. President Trump constantly derogatorily referencing Whitmer and Northam is viewed by some as the reason they were targeted.
“White supremacists and other like-minded extremists conducted two-thirds of the terrorist plots and attacks in the United States in 2020, according to new CSIS data. Anarchists, anti-fascists, and other like-minded extremists orchestrated 20 percent of the plots and attacks, though the number of incidents grew from previous years as these extremists targeted law enforcement, military, and government facilities and personnel,” noted the Center for Strategic Studies.
Some speculate that if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the White House over Trump, there will be a more aggressive approach to domestic terrorism in general and white supremacy specifically.