Since the El Paso, Texas shooting, the spotlight has shined on domestic terrorism. ProPublica reports that, last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the FBI made 90 arrests related to domestic terrorism in the previous nine months. Wray said these acts were actively being investigated while prosecuting such terrorists.
Although the purported 90 arrests have been referenced many times since El Paso, ProPublica claims that the FBI is refusing to provide any information on the arrests. Even basic information they assumed would already be announced has not been discussed.
“We would not be able to provide you with a comprehensive list of these press releases,” the FBI reportedly responded to their first request.
“As there is no federal domestic terrorism statute so DT subjects are charged under other federal, state and local charges.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the lack of a federal domestic terrorism statute means law enforcement often arrests domestic terrorists using Title 22 of the United States Code. But these criminals are usually charged with hate crimes and firearms charges instead of domestic terrorism given the overlap in the nature of the crimes, which creates somewhat of a legal gray area.
ProPublica pressed the FBI for where Wray obtained the number 90.
“What do you mean? We clarified the number, it’s in a comprehensive list of press releases that I’m saying we’re unable to provide,” the agency responded.
Four days after asking for information on the FBI’s claims of 90 domestic terrorism arrests, we are still waiting. And, frankly, it got kind of weird. https://t.co/coCImbct1V— ProPublica (@propublica) August 10, 2019
The publication highlighted the concern with the FBI’s lack of transparency and the fact that news outlets and other released data suggest a far lower number of domestic terrorism arrests, shedding doubt that the agency has made 90 arrests connected to such crimes.
The ProPublica report comes not long after The Inquisitr reported that under the Trump administration, the FBI has included “Black Identity Extremists” at the top of its priority list in terms of counterterrorism. Also topping the list are “animal rights/environmental extremists.”
The data was released in a report called “Domestic Terrorism in 2018” and is available online at the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparations. Previously, Congress pushed for its release repeatedly but was stonewalled by the Trump administration.
Per Yahoo News, the Trump administration is now facing criticism for hiding the report, which shows that, among the 32 identified incidents of domestic terrorism last year, over half of the suspects were white supremacists. In addition, these suspects were responsible for every case of “race-based” terrorism.
“I’m troubled by the lack of transparency, given that we haven’t received this critical information after several requests to the FBI and DOJ, Senator Cory Booker told Yahoo News. “They cannot and should not remain silent in the face of such a dangerous threat.”