Capitol Hill Assault Revives Calls for Domestic Terrorism Law, but Civil Liberties Groups are Wary

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"...However Trump leaves office, a new Congress appears poised to revive a years-old debate on whether the U.S. should expand the legal framework for going after “domestic terrorism.” A group of former Justice Department officials, along with the FBI Agents Association, has long argued that current law makes it easier to prosecute ideologically motivated acts of violence as terrorism if they appear to be inspired by a foreign terror organization like the Islamic State, and that a domestic terror statute would allow them to prosecute white supremacist terror — like Dylann Roof’s mass shooting in a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina — on equal footing.

But civil liberties advocates are wary of such a move, noting that federal law enforcement already has powerful tools to investigate and prosecute acts of domestic terrorism without any new laws, and that importing the anti-terrorism framework risks creating broad and vague powers that could be used to go after activists or religious minorities."

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