tv Council on Foreign Relations Discussion on Domestic Terrorism CSPAN December 11, 2020 3:56pm-4:59pm EST
>> next, former homeland security secretary, council on foreign relations posted the stock looking at white supremacist treatment some prosecuting hate crimes and advising the incoming biden administration on next steps. this runs one hour. >> welcome to today's counc arm foreign relations of homeland secury. in white supremacy. on senior national correondent primary substitute anchor and i will be providin today'siscussit of imposing man questions for the first0 minutes. then wefi will turn to one more question thane do have more than 300 peopl registered. so if we will do our very best to get to questions as w can. today's focus is white supremacy an a background of white supremacist another far rht extremists have killed more
pele since september 11th 2 and in any other category of domeic extremists. it is reporte that 71 percent ofhe extremists related fatalities in the.s. between 2008 and 2017, were committed by members of the white supremacist far rht groups. and for two o decades critics sy that the u.s. counter terrorism effort which is spent $3 trillion bween 2000 to 2017 alone has largely focused on - in the nature of the threat as change o the years and what can be done to combat it . jning inus have acting secretary of te department of homeld security in 2019 now the ceo. in the dhs secretary from 2009 - 2013. at the university of berkeley. and directo - homeland serity advisor since 2004 - 2008 and now vice-chairman in council and chief administration
officer mcandrews and stores inc. also on the board of directors for secretary - thank you all for being here. i do want to kick up by giving each of you o a moment to set te table for a conversation. if you could give us insights in the agency of homeland security. his priorities during the tenure where the domestic threats operated will begin reviewing should kw that this is nothing new during the time if you worked homand security advisor. these groups he been around for years. it but in those years, where was the homeland security's focus in the domestic threats today where theyoc . >> thank you very much. it isfo a pleasure to be here. as you say, let me set the table
as you say. in the immediate years post 911 and we continued to worry very much about things to begin manifesting and stopping before god themselves there. probably the biggest distraction or public destruction was was coming in from europe. and targeted by al qaeda. and over the atlantic, and so wandreds of americans. those were the prime focus, really on not only distractions over there but identifying these threats before they got the u.s. shores. remember, there is the patriot act. and changes that were happening during this time. there were investigations and with the fbi, and getting the legs underneath it. and working in these
investigations alongside with the fbi. and by the by some of the intelligence from overseas . so that was the environment we were in. it'sf in the end of the bush administration, we began to sing this phenomenon that we really at that time individuals using the internet. ... ... the white supremacist dmovement as opposed to [inaudible] its centralization was its weakness, they understood that so they are connected
but decentralized which makes them much more difficult to target. i think this is its evolution and as you say we have domestic terrorism wand there's a different flavor when you look at oklahoma city but there is this evolution over that administration to what we are facing. >> secretary napolitano, from the year 2009 to 2013 what was it you had seen in the way of a constituted domestic threat and where was the security focus and were there any meresources going to adjusting that threat at the time. >> i took overt homeland security shortly after the plan and our initial focus was still al qaeda and al qaeda relatedgroups . th aviation being a co contued threat. and our focus initially was there. after all, the attacks of 9/11 were the precipitation
for the department of homelansecurity . nonetheless we had intelligence and analysis division that was designed to collect threat information both internationally and domestically. and put it into a format that could be shared across the state and locenvironment . and that is where had efforts with respect to white supremacists, in the united states and as fran said it waonly groups, it was the so-called lone wols that we were seeing so we were collecting information about information sharing acrossthe country . frankly i think the white supremacists and lone wolf threat has been a growing
phenomenon s over the years. and threats change, the rest environment changes and if i were the secretary today i would give it a much higher prioty than frankly we did then . >> thank you madam sretary. secretary mcaleenan, over to you. by the time you stped into the helm, the internethad been acting as a rage accelerator . we know there was record growth in the number of domestic hate groups. how much has changed in terms of theresources given to domestic threats ? >> i was privileged to serve in career roles under the leadership of both analysts in china , operationally to implement the architecture that they helped design and drive. [inaudible] and threats to aviation on the ground but that focus at us and border
protection where i spent most of my career was operationally driven on those foreign threats and by the time i was asked to serve as actingsecretary, a lot had changed . starting of course we had the second 2011 and the tragic attacks in charleston. the church in charleston by dylann roof but starting at the tree of life synagogue in pennsylvania going to christchurch attacks early in ch 2019 in march in new zealand but then two more on us soil at the shabbat synagogue and tragically in el paso where 22 people were killed in all walmart there. we saw this internet inspired and encouraged set of loanable factors really espousing hateful white supremacist ideologies and
for me coming into the initial role in thedepartment of homeland security , knowing the fbi had continued to happily for counterterrorism and domestic terrorism threats i wanted to see what we could do to support state and local communities just as the secretary napalitano was articulating. it's a powerful and diverse apparatus that dhs has and we wanted to build and strengthen so about six weeks after the el paso attacks we issued a new strategic framework for counterterrorism and targeted violence . we also have alas vegas attacks . which was doesn't appear to be a tadomestic terrorist ideology inspired attack, but was another example of a mass attack in the us of targeted violence, and incident of targeted violence that we wanted to address so we set up the targeted violence and terrorism to galvanize this effort and five people
started, now it's 40. we saw additional grants cycle from congress and we tried to wheedle those elements of the department that were really focused on these threats, the us secret service, threat assessment center and the attacks and public safety report which trains 65,000 state and local law enforcement every year. the cyber security infrastructure and security agency which took over the national programs and protections director , protected security advisors which are in metropolitan areas training in active shooter and local communities and then really asking our intelligence analysts the elements of the excesses part of the intelligence community to focus some of their work on providing good threat assessments to state and local centers to really highlight the violent extremist threat and white supremacist extremist threat as you noted. that has culminated in the
threat assessment in october which was a plot we called for and asked the department to issue every year to help our state and local partners. they explicitly identified as the most persistent threats facing the homeland today. this happened very quickly. even in september 2019 we still sort started with international terrorist threats and then highlighted violent extremists but by october 2020, the domestic violence extremist threats specifically racially and ethnically most motivated groups were highlighted number one the most persistent in the homeland so it's really accelerated in the last two or three years in terms of the number, lethality of the attacks and unfortunately both the groups operating in the us but also their ability tohelp inspire loan actors . so the homeland security enterprise has to be part of the solution.
>> thank you secretary mcalnan. i think the number of groups has been growing the, t attacks have been accelerating. the fact that you point out that none of the decisions you're making, none of the assessments are divorced from the politics . secretary, i'd like to ask . you that at the time bacin 2009 you did have information maon these this right-wing extremism there was a report in april of that year distributed, it was leakedo the press and it caused a fierce political backlash. the analyst who signed that report came ouand said he wasn't under political pressure, dhs kate. when you look back at that time now, why did you do what you did in responding to t political cklash and did politics get in the way of addressing what was a very real threat . >> the report caused a
firestorm, no doubt about it. it caused a firestorm because there was some ill-conceived language in it that needed to seem like every veteran of the military service was a terrorist and waiting. and we know that that's not true although i do think we need to be interacting with more with the military in terms of how they prepare individuals when they leave the service and make sure that they are really ready to get education, get jobs, etc. . but the veterans community went to great lengths at this and they asked congress to take great steps after this.
the obama administration which was new was concerned frankly aboutthe politics of this . so a report came out on my watch and i apologized not for the report for the language in the report. and it was drawn to the reissued later. and d i continue to ask for a team to do updated threat assessments on what we received in that and what could be done about it. >> thank you for that secretary napalitano. secretary mcaleenan you mentioned the threats you took during your tenure at dhs on the department's domestic terrorism efforts and you set up the department and secured funding for the office and at the same time
when the president you work for response to a violent white supremacist and neo-nazi march as very fine people on both sides and there is that fear to unequivocally condemn, does that hinder your ability to meet threat in that way when i took over in april 2019, the threats that we were involving and that drove an imperative to respond so that's when we were focused on, we had bipartisan support on the hill for an out of cycle appropriations request and our grant funding ability and then by the time we had the el paso attacks, our strategy had been at work all summer but we need to get it out and speak with great grclarity on the american interests and they were arising, specifically violence and that was an important statement and there
was support for that and other remarks the president made on monday after the el paso attacks certainly. but really i do think it's very important that we were clear about the threats we're facing and not being credible. >> there have been a number ofreports from our colleaes who said that they were downplaying the growing white supremacistthreat within thisadministration and they were frustrated by that . did you share that frustration ? >> again i was in the operational side for most of this and that's something my former colleagues articulated that frustration and they were critical players in helping us advance the strategy during my tenure as acting secretary and it was supported in the release of our strategic plan by the white house. that said, we have different sense of priorities and i've seen the power of a coordinated effort from the white house by ms. townsend
who are articulated the homeland security strategy but i've also seen operators work together to accomplish improvements in our effort like we did with this administration and our policy with a lot of those efforts might miss mcaleenan and others on her team so you can view it both ways. we've already responded to it , our own leadership team. >> thank you secretary mcaleenan. ms. townsend iwanted to ask you about the bush administration . messages are to the contry from the highest office in the land under the bush administration the idea of an extremist threat. [inaudible] to a foreign threat as u laid out and certainly the political rhetoric that exists today d while violent extremism does remain a threat does remain a domestic threat in the us explicitly from white christian men. how our political leaders, have they been reluctant to recognize the danger of the
threat that comes very much from the core of the american commercial sect. >> it'worth understanding that america is not the only place and people facing this white supremacist extremism problem. there are countries in the world thataccount for the largt number of these attacks. the us, uk and germany one thing we have in common, there's been thirise in populism and immigrants so in germany, it's a reaction to the flood of syrian immigrants coming as a result of the war there and in the uk it was by and large a reaction to the surge of immigration refugees. .and so you have the same thing here. interesting to me is one of the thgs that i think added this is the strength of the efforts that we had obally to combat islamic
terrorism was the fact that weabdicated globally, we acted with our allies . i find it frusating and intesting, i don't see that same lev of cooperation. the uk is ouclosest common. there's a t we can do with them to understand where the commonalities and alsoith germany. there's re we could do. there's been good progress made but ithink we have to start thinking strategically . this is t just a us problem and it wasn't ju cread and were not the only nones facing it and that reality does not strengthen our allianc. >> if i can speak with you for a moment on that, we don't do away with this idea of a lone wolf attacke we know they're very connecd, globally so. they're just notbattle in
the same way as other thres. you said the us needs to start responding to this threat employing some of the same tools we did to fight terrorism abroad at home. obviously there's a different set of rules, civil liberties d other issues with ameran citizens on american soil what tools could you use heto combat white supremacist violence ? >> i do think anytime your doing an investition, a domestic investigation inside the united states there are different rules to protect americans here athome and rightly so under the constitution . both the fbi opetes in the attorney general's guidelines which are much stricter than anything thaapplies for example to the c operating against non-american citizens , we need to underand why that is. justecause you have a difference doesn't mean there's not under which the fbi and investigators can access thatinrmation . i will say one of the
accelerants to radicalization is t internet and some people it's que different now than when i was in the white house at thebeginning of this . the social media companies e much more engaged, much more aive than they ever were. this is a source of frustration for me shortly afr i left, the social media mpanies askedit as if they had no responsibility for the content on their platform . this has come around and there's a lot of pushing from congress and multiple administrations and they understand they dohave a deresponsibility so i think relationships matterthe legal structure around how we investigate crime, like any other crime whe supremacist extremism is a cri here at home and we fool to the best in them.
>> thank you ms. townsend. i'd like to ask the me question to you about th tools, what tools could be put to use and how they could implement about given what we are seeing during the global pandemic. because so many are stk at home, spending more time online that a lot of that agreement and radicalization is beingfurther accelerated right now, would you say that . >> i think this really deserve a fresh rethink and really the development of national strategy. one of the issues here is that you have so manplayers in the law-enforcement sid because this is domestic activity so you've got state and will, on the federal level you got the fbi. and you got the hs. and with so many players, there is no ki of organized strategy.
how do we as a collective law enforcement community interact with the social media companies. with respect to content. how can we work with social scientists and others to do more research on what causes someone to be, a white supremacist. what causes someone to become a lone wolf. what are the benefactors and techniques that can be deployed. we can't eliminate the secd day, we had for decades, probably going back to the 19th century and the 17th century even. but to mitigate, to keep it confined and limited as possible. so i think a real fresh rethink is needed here area. >> can i add something? we're seng from the last ministration i was the
assistant to the department of homeland security and counterterrorism and kevin ntioned we are shooting national counterterrorism strategies national online securitystrategies . that position doesn't exist n because that right anyre, there's a real opportunity here in this ministrati to pose a president for homeland security issuesthat very that strategy out of the white house international strategy to address white supremacist extremism. and i think 's time for that, i think it's a problem of sufficient national magnitude the progress and agen in the white house is where the internet it will ogrequire presidents to reach. >> otherwise only going to be increasing. and it's going to require
some intentionality to get our arms around this sand get it working fine. >> secretary, i'd like to bring you in here because we should remind people that there was an entire us governmental reorganization after 9/11, after the and this is threat, does this moment now the man a similar level of reorganization respond to thethreat that is foreign within our. >> some really important questions and comments in the last fewminutes . one i think you're right to highlight the difference in the tools sag has . to combat domestic terrorism issues without the intelligence community, without the department of defense on the field. it's a very different effort. you have to rely on fbi and domestic investigations with the appropriateprotections in rule under the attorney general's guidance .so how do we invest in the framework
. i think i could not have done more with my cofounders on the weakness of the white house to really kind of reach that role counterterrorism and homeland security within the national security council as a critical priority really that office, individual in the office with redeveloping of a strategy. we have a combination of tools that were not currently utilizing in my view. for instance i think we considered designation of some of these groups, especially as we see dedicated efforts to correlate and to build alliances locally. so you take a light supremacist extremist group dostically, they tend to want to make development relationships with it for training or tactics or financing. for ideological support and unfortunately they like to travel to celebrate that at special events and their ideologies history. we need to look at international connections and
consid whether we can make these terrorist organizations and bring in other authorities to help counter those efforts. i also think we need to reorganize definitions. the fbi did a tremendous job as chris would say in criminality, not ideology and the cadet with other parts of the us without a cure domestic terrorism violation or criminal statute. that said, it should be looked at a new whether some of the materials and concepts that we use for foreign terrorist organizations could be coapplied appropriately to domestic violating first amendment or other constitutionalprotections . so i dthink there are some new strategies and i do agree with transport that the text ask what we're doing more. it would be good to see the hosting and secu providers take after the third consecutive on eachend .
so bringing a white supremacist attack, thataid i think they could be more aggressive in policing themselves and that's another fine line that we got to have an open conversation in a new strategic approach in my view. >> thank you for that secretary mcaleenan, i had a host of other questions i did not get to but at this time i would like to invite more of you out there to join the conversation with our own questions . this meeting is on the record . i will not ask the operator to please remind us how to join and to go ahead and answer. >> thank you. ladies and gentlemen and reminder. to ask a question press onthe raised hand icon on your resume window . please accept the unused now button and proceed with your name, affiliation andquestion . to view the roster of members registered to attend this meeting please click on the link ioin your zoom checkbox.
first question, terry lopez . >> thanks so much for this very important and timely presentation. i am interested in many aspects of this one aspect i wanted to invite you to speak about was the real connection between our gender violence, domestic violence and white supremacy and mass shootings. i really think that gender violence are critical foundations to white supremacy. they're not simply byproducts of is often times the narrative and how that gets covered in the space at all. so many times people talk about misogyny as a steppingstoneto radicalization but it's inherently radical itself . we've seen several antiquated
reports that a lot of research shows that the men behind ofthe us's deadliest mass shooting has domestic violence in common overwhelmingly so i was wondering if you talk about your thoughts on the gender lens here. on both in terms of th prevention and response.nt in those particular areas i invite you to have knowledge or interest in there's a poll that exists when thinking about gun violence and the fact that a federal law, people who are not living. [inaudible] are not able to get a restraining order against that person for preventing them from having a gun. >> i love to hear any thoughts you have both in domestic and global ramifications ofhe gender dimension. >> for the question, would like to share best efforts.
>> i could start. for the panel, for just the bigger question i think it counts on very clearly certain kinds of white supremacist extremist groups like our skinheads or some of the white nationalist groups which really espoused a hyper- masculine, hyper violence type of culture and ideology. so i think it is a prevalent theme and the connection i think between backers of domestic violence and also an importantobservation , if you look at the massive tax in public spaces report, what consistently shows esargue after you, the vast majority of individuals who became radicalized and chose violence shows, had something in their background that indicated they might be a concern. some of them generally identified violence that generally presented that to a
school resource officer. health professional. there was an opportunity for intervention and an opportunity to .redirect an individual on the pathwayto violence . so i think providing the kind of information, training and secret service does to state and local authorities, to school resource officers can really explain that connection between domestic violence and eventual move to a more type of mass attack violence i think is important you can try to identify someone who's on trajectory injury and create an output for them and that's iebig part of the strategy. >> thank you secretary mcaleenan, anything you'dlike to add ? >> i made a mment earlier about reaching out to scntists and to help go past this, it can be viewed through a number of lenses including obviously th
gender lens. and as kevin said and i wanted to back them up, looking for those early signs so there could bearly intervention but i don't intervention have to be meaningful. it's not just having one conversation with sebody, saying hey guys, what is goinon. it has to be programmaticnd thorough and it takes time and it takesresources . >> thank you for that matter secretary. i will bring up the next question please. >> next question from. [inaudible] >> this is charlie jeffers, i worked at the counterterrorism center in the office of civil liberties and it's great tosee you again .
the question i have is that when it pertains to fighting international terrorism, and groups like prices and now, there was often place our communities mainly most of these but i don't see that same type of blame recall the perspective right wing and white nationalist movements area and why you think that is. >> ms. townsend, light of eternity first. >> this is something i can remember struggling with when we were in office. and it seems incredibly unfair to impose a burden on any particular community, as part of the push twice at the mosque in washington dc to try to sell this myth if the community were some black market, some are burdened,
you want the entire community to take responsibility and we try to reach those family. some is not just thehumidity around this person .if the family, the family would be the first sign before the community. i agree with you, i don't think there's been the same expectation based on white communities we saw post-9/11. i don't think that's fair. it would be interesting to see if the acceleration over time. is when you're more likely to see a chance for public sentiment, why are we seeing this and what more can bedone . how else can we engage. but this is again! frankly it's social scientists, building your community, is healthcare workers, is this entire question that typically teachers, healthcare workers and your local hospital
doctors and physicians, it requires a much more strategic approach and engagement frankly because not really working with the latin canadian are like community, looking where these people are living, looking to their families and those who deal with them every day and are likely to see this first sign given an infrastructure which their encourage and they're comfortable that they can ur report these things that i find concerning that maybe early indications. >> secretary, anything more to? >> i would just note the office of civil rights and civil liberties was one of the offices of the hs that has pioneered outreach to the muslim american community and we have tried to combine the efforts of targeted violence and prevention office with regard including hiring some of the folds really develop those community relations and the birthplace to be regional
police first under the cep office so the kind of work you are doing back when general napalitano was relieving the department is being carried on in certain ways dhs so thank you for your service. >> secretary, if i can follow up with you on that . the question helps to address the reat, were there to be targeted efforts going int the committee to say if you see something, pc behavior that words you say something. >> i think this is identify the role of any community in the relevant amenities to be helpful. and it does seem to me that it can be the neighborhood, the school.the church, but where is the most place for affected intervention and
where a community. >> thank you for that. next question please. >> will take our next question from laura. please announce your affiliation . >> i'm president for life management. [inaudible] and the former. [inaudible] at the white house so it will be a surprise to ask this to reflect on the radio logically nuclear terrorism threat manifesto and the degree to o which that manifesto is inspiring white supremacists violence and how does that potential for radiological chemical biological attacks affect the violent extremismwe're seeing
today . >> secretary mcaleenan. >> first i think that the inspiration of manifesto the manifesto is a serious concern. and in the efforts among the ideological movements to lionize or sacrifice people who commit acts of violence and told them up as paragons and have their thoughts cited in manifestoes, that trail needs to be looked at and to secretary napalitano's part, the community needs to intervene part of the online community to try and so i would offer that. i think the best way to respond to the radiological nuclear part of your question is just this latest policy available threat assessment on these issues from dhs and it really downplayed the
concern on radiological threats, not downplayed but said it was a heightened issue of nuclear concerns and potential proliferation of know-how, especially one that to your point, that were leader in the movement and highlighted as a technique that should bepursued , that is something to be aware of and concerned about. but one thing we didn't talk about the outset in terms of that timeline is that in the national counterterrorism setting gets to stop focusing on these access they moved to an emerging threat. we still have to maintain pressure on prices or establishing safe havens and inspired globally. we have to prevent foreign terrorists from entering the united states and look at nationstate sponsors especially with the most legal needs nukes so those efforts have to continue and
be sustained and i think that something that we're going to have to watch carefully is getting too near your competitors by trying russia or focus efforts away from special operations and counterterrorism efforts at the safe havens have diminished. you see a number of good points and ideological inspiration in terms of making our focus across the board, addressing new and emerging threats. >> thank you secretary and ms. thompson, anything you'd liketo add on this as a nuclear asration if you will ? >> what worries me is i remember hawhen the lines were issued in the late 90s and everybody sort of pulled back because hessued this threat from the cave with a bunch of guys in afghistan where people can fi it on a map
at the time.it seems ridiculous and it had the same sort of feel to . that manifesto puts a mark on the wall for those who want to belong, there's this cool new radicalization community called red pill and where they learn the coded language and begin to underand in mainstream chat rooms and become less mainstream, the 8chans so the individual is being read alive with the community decides hewants to make a name forhimself , to publish and circulate each other's manifestoes and this is a mark on the wall for others to mark on and to aspire to and it will remain there and it ought to be a serious concerto us in terms of combating these
problems. >> thank you ms. townsend, operator, let's take another question. >> we will take the next question from audrey . >> i'm audrey chris coming at americanuniversity . violent extremist attacks are practically a crime, murders, weapons violations because there are more domestic legal tools and corruption is more likely but this leads to a popular deception that we only call muslim attackers terrorists. we also have a problem if people are on both the right and left are unwilling to give that response as and has power issue creates legislation so my question is how specifically with initial counterterrorism laws and help reduce domestic violence extremism and would, one law for authorities would you prioritize.
>> secretary, i like the fact that you don't mind. >> as an interesting question . because for any number of interesting states statutes or federal statutes depending on the circumstances of a particular that can reach and be used by investigators and prosecutors. and so i don't know whether adding another statutes would do much to change the landscape. there has been talk about having a federal domestic terrorism statutes. and i think that is an interesting idea but the question i have is what would be the differential elements that would be needed rethat
need to be included in that and what would that mean. in terms of sentencing beyond what you can get for prosecution for firearms violations or acts of violence under state law, things ofthat sort . >> secretary mcaleenan if you'd like to weigh in. this conversation is unfolding during the prosecution of groups as well and even back then i think the brennan center for justice and raised some concerns about additional statutes because they were worried they can be used for political purposes . obviously cannot be unintended so what would you think that question. >> i would agree with secretary napolitano! about needing to be very and needing to find the different elements of proof and that flexibility of the law. the potential for misuse and you just added in the question. i think those are all clear considerations are reasons
why after el paso, the fbi and department of justice not recommend a new statutory definition. even though that wasn't a conversation after el paso and it was a combination of central resources necessary for additional investigation and potential statutory changes so far none have been recommended. that said i do think it's important to be able to speak clearly about the threats and there is something that's been part of a crime statute. the origin of that criminality and ideology supporting eight, makes it greater concern to our society and it has a special definition so perhaps it's worth noting that a crime model for potential domestic terrorism, but that maybe has a little bit of flexibility or some differential punishment . >> ms. townsend, that's an issue well and to the
point that i think this is also what we're seeing with the protection gap at when they from the top automaticallif they terrorism charge where it's different if it's a non-muslim attack music, >> i don't think so, i think they are two separateissues . we talk about and how we charge. and what you're doing from this again certainly what i say is the reason we didn't see the rofbi and justice department recommend the domestic terrorism law is because they felt like they had to charge appropriately the time that had been committed. the separate question about how we talk about it, one of the jobs i do is many years i was on the air with cnn and not national security analyst for cbs and i will tell you that to be conscious and deliberately talk about the tax like these, we talk about
them as domestic terrorism. that's what they are. violence against a civilian population a political ideology. it terrorism, it doesn't matter what ethnicity or the perpetrator is, it's the purpose with which they execute the crime and it certainly is terrorism. we have to be more distanced from it frankly and how we talk about the nature of these crimes. i don't think whether or not we have to domestic terrorism statute that we can charge makes a difference. >> thank you for that nostalgic. operator if we have timefor a couple of more questions . >> next question from carter denson . >> thank you, i'm ricardo gibson a former chairman. my question, recently we saw law enforcement connect the governor of michigan and it was supported by news applets igat some of those perpetrators were late to white supremacists or their views. the platform a, what do you
expect going from social media week do you all see a trend doamong these groups online discussions. and my question is are you all concerned that other groups like this will target other elected officials. >> secretary, why don't you take that. you recently had an op-ed calling that not an anomaly, making sureit wasn't just logistics . >> i think question is is important because it highlights two distinct ideologies that might have similar needs and i think it's githe facts will still be coming out in terms of the fbi's investigation on the specific ideological motivation for the individuals in this issue. whether they were white supremacists, extremist motivated or more antigovernment motivation . fortunately there is a strength of acceleration that loosely organized but seeking to really precipitate a civil
war and then overthrow the system . athey haven't antigovernment, bring about civil war acceleration but not necessarily motivated by white supremacy or speech seeking a white nation afterwards . attitude, looking at other groups. [inaudible] that very clearly their motivation so either way, i believe that by committing acts of violence you can precipitate the unraveling and an outright conflict between society and government or elements of society and government. it's an extreme concern and your right to highlight there's a connection between those goals of ideologies. >> i think the toxicity this election environment has been an accelerant of his own to these types of activities.
and just as recently as yesterday, the home of the secretarof state of michigan was surrounded by something armed with signs. this is unacceptable in civil society and we need leaders of both parties at all levels speaking out strongly against this. >> to respond to ms. townsend we should note the proud boys have been showing up in person at a lot of the reopening rallies during the pandemic and protesters at the black lives mattermarches and their concern coming out of this political 8chans that this election cycle, this this will be a problem for the next administration . >> i absolutely think it's going to be at the top of the
list for the new administration in terms of priorities and a sense of urgency. i will tell you i'm up here in new york and the nypd was trending for in the 8chans leading up to the election were quite concerned that the white supremacists groups would try to antagonize black lives matter and sort of invite him in to a conflict, tooling, to writing that it would be quite intentional. that's a engagement between these opposing groups. it would be quite intentional and would cause damage and result in real crimes and damage to property. that didn't happen. at was a real credit to the nypd because they actually had intelligence indicating that there was activity. i give you that example because new york is not alone in this. i don't think this is an
isolated incident because as i said earlier, i think we're going to see more ofthis . i think again, that's something i mentioned earlier, there's an international strategy that brings in state and local officials. you so then you have both vertical and horizontal, state and local government strategies. >> thank you ms. townsend. operator, a couple more questions please. >> we will take the next question from henry willis. >> thank you for this discussion. the question is that with the national security intelligence communities increasingly focused on specific and resurgence of great power competition, how do we keep our eyes and our resources focus on this terrorism threat. and having increased domestic
focus. >> secretary, what would you say. >> the risk environment is always changing and the past of the dartment of homeland security, the task of the department of justice, the fb, is to keep our collective eye on the ball. where terrorism of all forms is considered particularly where domestic terrorism is concern. domestic terrism doesn't plicate the department of defee. they're not involved, doesn't implicate the cia, they're not involved . it really relies on these domestic federal law enforcement agenciesto maintain a sufficient focus and not to let domestic
terrorism get lost in all of thother decisions that need to be made at the beginning of a new administratio. i think giall three of us emphasized the need for real resets and a real rethink and we got a revised national strategy where his domestic terrorist acts system. >> is also worth adding their and i mentioned state and local and i think it's worth reminding the members who are listening to the conversation , this is by and large a state and local effort. the federal government brings resources, expertise, we bring a strategy. we bring infrastructure. when it comes right down to it these crimes are committed in local communities they are committed by state and local authorities. with expertise and hopefully grant money of the federal
government so it really is a matter of making sure they're getting the training and the wherewithal down to state and local who are really the first line of defense. >> anything you like? >> these are two very good last words. but i could not agree more state and local is critical to the strategy as to henry!, federal resources are increasingly challenged and big muscle movements of the it budgets are focused on great power competition. but that doesn't mean we decided to support we had a really. just wanted to know we seem this with other types of terrorism in the past where it appears to be a mobile and the influence of organized groups are not as clearly visible. that said, i would just like to try to again the incredible work of the fbi
working with state and local partners to help identify some of the individuals grants and the michigan plot but the more organized it is, the more likely the fbi will be on top of it to prevent in advance that's worth noting as well. >> in the minute or so we have before we wrap this up i could just go around and ask you to speak directly to the incoming administration, one or two things would yougive them , maybe to do with the concrete depth to prioritize this in the next administration. i'll start with you. >> i'm going to echo my colleagues again and say hello big as a house trailer. the incoming president elect i still have lots of priorities dealing with domestic terrorism and his offshoots ngof extremism that are going to affect our country, given the nature of the postelection environment, given the concern about that,
if the 180 priorities. looking at some of the tools you use on the international connections, work on the strategy with x platforms and the vhsl i recommend that the nominee and his team foundation that you all have their framework and some of the offices of enhancements. see if they can re-enhance the coordinator's role to work that more effectively to support state and local communities. >> thank you secretary mcaleenan, secretary napalitano. >> i would echo that and i would say make sure that you have a homeland security adviser in the white house has a direct report to the president and empower that person. and ask atthat person to use the convening power of the white house, both vertilly with state and local and
horizontally with across the united states to as i've said, reset and rethink how we dealwith this issue . >> thank you ma'am secretary over to you. >> i have to say i'm not going to add anything. secretary of homeland. record presented there be a work by the white house. you have to secretary say we eded one back in the white house . [inaudible] r >> it's a good ne for us to end on. that is all the time we have for today. i want to thank l the members for joining us today because i'm very grateful to our analyst kevimcaleenan, janet napalitano and of course ms. townsend for taking the time to be with us here today. just a reminder the video and transcript will be postedon dfr's weite . once again i am amna nawaz with news hour.
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journal. >> next, pharmaceutical company executives and cyber officials discussed securing the development and distribution of vaccines. this panel was part of the 2020 cyber summit. >> i'pleased to introduce my friendfrom npwho will be speaking with fbi deputy assistant director tonya eberts. chief information security officer in analysis and eli lilly director of security officer mary parker. welcome. >> thanks very mh john. >> good to be with you virtually . so you ve everyone bible and i don't need to reintroduce thpa