This is very bad: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has disbanded an Intelligence and Analysis unit whose members had focused on domestic terrorism, including white supremacist violence.
Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast reports:
Numerous current and former DHS officials say they find the development concerning, as the threat of homegrown terrorism — including white supremacist terrorism — is growing.
In the wake of this move, officials said the number of analytic reports produced by DHS about domestic terrorism, including the threat from white supremacists, has dropped significantly. People in and close to the department said this has generated significant concern at headquarters.
“It’s especially problematic given the growth in right-wing extremism and domestic terrorism we are seeing in the U.S. and abroad,” one former intelligence official told The Daily Beast.
The group in question was a branch of analysts in DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A). They focused on the threat from homegrown violent extremists and domestic terrorists. The analysts there shared information with state and local law enforcement to help them protect their communities from these threats.
Then the Trump administration’s new I&A chief, David Glawe, began reorganizing the office, which is the DHS component that has a place in the Intelligence Community. Over the course of the reorganization, the branch of I&A focused on domestic terrorism got eighty-sixed and its analysts were reassigned to new positions. The change happened last year, and has not been previously reported.
“We’ve noticed I&A has significantly reduced their production on homegrown violent extremism and domestic terrorism while those remain among the most serious terrorism threats to the homeland,” said one DHS official.
Woodruff also quotes local law enforcement who say that the information they used to receive from the unit has now dried up.
Presumably, this unit also tracked anti-choice violence, which is one of the longest running domestic terrorist campaigns in the country.
So now we’re just flying blind(er) on rightwing extremist violence, including and especially anti-choice and white supremacist terrorism.
That, of course, is not an accident. That is a design. Because malice is the agenda.
One assumes Donald Trump and his deplorable henchmen won’t be mad if their decision to allow domestic terrorism to flourish in the darkness of inattention also results in dramatic acts of public violence that justify the expansion of authoritarian policy, under the auspices of security and “protecting” us.
If they were actually interested in protecting us, they wouldn’t have disbanded a unit charged with doing precisely that.