Comment on New Homeland Security Center to “Address Domestic Extremism”

May 11, 2021 4:15 pm

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WASHINGTON – Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas announced today the creation of a new Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships to “combat terrorism and targeted violence.” He also announced a new “dedicated domestic terrorism branch” within DHS’s Office of Intelligence & Analysis, which will continue “leveraging” the work of Fusion Centers.

In response, Manar Waheed, ACLU senior legislative and advocacy counsel said:

“Despite promises to end ‘violent extremism’ programs that were ineffective, discriminatory, and harmful to Muslims and communities of color, President Biden’s administration appears to be expanding these efforts and simply renaming them. Reframing a failed approach as a new Homeland Security measure is the latest attempt to dress the wolf in sheep’s clothing. We are also deeply concerned that the administration is creating a new terrorism-related intelligence unit and will build on the work of Fusion Centers which have been the subject of bipartisan criticism and are notorious for their privacy and civil liberties violations, ineffectiveness, mission creep, and lack of transparency. Of course, we all want to address white supremacist violence effectively, but these efforts appear to be no different than earlier failed, discriminatory programs and could continue the same harmful cycle we have seen for years now after promises of doing better.”

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