Homeland Security Republicans Demand Answers From DHS Secretary Mayorkas and FBI Director Wray on Anti-Police Violence in Atlanta
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN), Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger (R-TX), and Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability Chairman Dan Bishop (R-NC) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray demanding answers on their agencies’ response to the recent anti-law enforcement violence perpetrated against the future Atlanta Public Safety Training Center in Atlanta, Georgia, including by a member of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
In the letter, the Members wrote, “On March 5, 2023, the Atlanta Police Department arrested 35 suspected violent extremists who carried out the attack. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) later charged 23 of those arrested with domestic terrorism under Georgia state law. Unfortunately, these extremist tactics and violent acts resemble the sustained violence by anarchists and violent left-wing extremists in 2020 when they vandalized and destroyed federal property in Portland, Oregon.”
The letter continues, “Notably, one of the individuals charged with domestic terrorism at the site of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center is an employee of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a biased and partisan far-left non-profit organization. Following the violent attack, the SPLC released a statement denouncing the employee’s arrest and calling for soft-on crime policies. This statement is concerning as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FBI have cited and relied upon SPLC’s opinions for official products, raising serious questions about those products’ objectivity and impartiality.”
The letter concludes, “To assist the Committee in its oversight of the roles of DHS and FBI in monitoring and conducting oversight of the recent violent attack that occurred at the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center site, please provide the following documents and information as soon as possible.”
Read the full letter here.
On March 5, 2023, the Atlanta police arrested 35 suspected extremists who carried out a violent attack on the future Atlanta Public Safety Training Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Reports from law enforcement stated that the agitators threw large rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks at police officers. While the GBI announced its charges of 23 of these individuals with domestic terrorism under Georgia state law, the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office is working to determine if any federal laws were violated in connection with the violent attacks. According to the Atlanta Police Department, one of the individuals charged with domestic terrorism is an employee of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a far-left non-profit organization. On January 23, 2023, the FBI’s Richmond Field Office published an analysis report that identified traditional Catholics as “violent extremists,” which cited the support of the SPLC. In 2021, DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis published a bulletin regarding a national threat report, citing an SPLC assessment on extremists.