Following the recent domestic terrorist attack in Portland, Oregon in which three people were stabbed, killing two, while shouting religious hate speech at two young Muslim women, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to committee chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) demanding the committee confront the domestic terrorism threat.
Thompson wrote McCaul in March regarding the need for hearings and legislation on domestic terrorism, but pointed out that no hearings or other committee actions have been planned.
Thompson said Thursday, “These types of terrorist acts can no longer be ignored by this committee for the sake of those who do not want to acknowledge that all forms of terrorism, no matter the ideology or the inspiration, are a threat to our safety, rights and our homeland. Terrorist acts are carried out by individuals with various racial, religious and political backgrounds, but they all have a common goal – to use violence and intimidation to advance their beliefs. Time and time again I have requested that our committee fulfill its responsibility and commitment to ‘continue to conduct rigorous oversight of the federal government’s counterterrorism efforts including monitoring ongoing and emerging terror threats to the United States.’”
In his letter today, Thompsontold McCaul, “In March, I wrote to you requesting the committee on homeland security take immediate action to address the ongoing threat of domestic terrorists through our oversight and legislative activities during the 115 Congress. Unfortunately, the committee has not yet held any activities to examine or respond to the growing threat of domestic terrorism, nor have I received a reply to my letter.”
“Tragically,” Thompson noted, “just last week our nation suffered another domestic terrorist attack. Jeremy Christian, a domestic terrorist, stabbed three people, killing two and seriously injuring a third. The killed and injured had been attempting to subdue Christian as he shouted religious hate speech at two girls believed to be Muslim on a Portland, Oregon train. It has been reported there is security footage of Christian yelling both racial and religious hate speech before and during the attack. This week, when Christian appeared in court, he shouted, ‘ … You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism! You hear? Die.’”
“It is time for our committee to act,” Thompson stressed.