Thompson Lauds Domestic Terrorism Government Report Provision Included in Bipartisan NDAA
(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, lauded the inclusion of legislative language on domestic terrorism in the Conference Report of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This language is based on legislation he authored, the Domestic & International Terrorism DATA Act (H.R. 3106), which passed the House in September. The NDAA Conference Report passed the House this week and is set to pass the Senate and be signed by the President imminently.
The provision (NDAA, Section 5602) directs the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to produce a joint intelligence assessment and data driven unclassified report on domestic terrorism. It must include data on domestic terrorist incidents; assessments, investigations, indictments, prosecutions, and convictions with a domestic terrorism nexus; and the number of DOJ and DHS full-time staff working on domestic terrorism. Thompson also successfully fought for the inclusion of enhancements to provide additional privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections, and to ensure data quality.
Chairman Thompson released the following statement on the legislation:
“Domestic terrorism, fueled largely by a surge in white supremacist extremism, threatens the security of our homeland. It has been clear for quite some time that the Federal government needs do more to effectively counter this threat.
“Once this legislation goes into effect, there will be greater transparency into the Federal government’s handling of domestic terrorism and the FBI, DHS, and ODNI will be required to step up its research on this homeland security threat. When the Administration produces its report, it will be critically valuable to the policymaking process and efforts to chart a course toward combatting domestic terrorism more effectively. Policy discussions about new laws surrounding domestic terrorism are premature until and unless we have complete transparency on domestic terrorist incidents and what the government is doing to keep us safe.
“While this legislation mandates five yearly reports, there will be the need for continuous updates in the future to ensure we do not fall behind again. To that end, I will continue to fight for full enactment of my legislation (H.R. 3106) and, at this time thank my colleagues for joining me in recognizing the necessity of addressing this persistent threat.”
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Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978