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Friday, July 1, 2022

Top Official Link US Gun Laws and Domestic Terrorist Attacks

The link between domestic terror attacks and easy access to powerful guns is “beyond dispute”, according to a top US Justice Department official.

“We need to be clear about this as a nation,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen told an audience in Washington on Wednesday, the same day the department sentenced a suspect in a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, to the death penalty. Make.

“The ability of violent extremists to acquire military-grade weapons in this country contributes significantly to their ability to kill and inflict large-scale damage,” said Olsen, former director of the US National Counter Terrorism Center. Security Division.

“I think that access to powerful weapons in this country gives domestic violence extremists the ability to carry out attacks on a scale that they otherwise could not and that we do not see in other countries.”

Also on Wednesday, Justice Department lawyers filed federal hate crime charges against 18-year-old Peyton Gendron, accused of killing 10 black people during a May 14 attack at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket.

According to prosecutors and law enforcement officials, Gendron’s gun, a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle, had racial slurs written on it as well as the phrase, “The Great Replacement”, referring to a theory supported by many violent white supremacists.

Gendron also wrote a self-described manifesto detailing his plan to kill black people, stating that his goal was to “kill as many blacks as possible”.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Wednesday after meeting with victims and families of victims: “Hate violence terrorizes not only all those who are attacked, but entire communities.” “

“No one in this country should live in fear that they will go to work or shop at the grocery store, and that they will be attacked by someone who hates them because of the color of their skin. The person who does this because he believes in the shoddy theory that there are only people like him in this country.”

Gendron previously pleaded not guilty to charges of domestic terrorism, including hate-motivated domestic terrorism and murder.

Recent gun violence has prompted US lawmakers to re-examine the country’s gun laws, which have long been a hot-button political issue. Top Democrats and Republicans expressed optimism that a number of modest measures could be compromised by the end of this week.

US officials have repeatedly warned of a dynamic and heightened threat environment and the potential for domestic terror attacks, most recently extending the threat advisory for another six months.

Earlier this year, US officials warned that the number of domestic terrorism cases opened by the FBI had more than doubled since March 2020, prompting the Justice Department to set up a domestic terrorism unit specifically to handle the resulting lawsuits. Inspired to create.

In January, FBI Acting Assistant Director Jill Sanborn told lawmakers that domestic extremists, including racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists and anti-government or anti-incumbency violent extremists, “will continue to pose the most serious threat.”

On Wednesday, the Justice Department’s Olsen warned that the threat from domestic violent extremists and domestic terrorism “has increased alarmingly.”

Olsen also expressed concerns about known links between white supremacist groups in the US and abroad.

Earlier on Wednesday, the US Treasury Department approved two backers of the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM), which the State Department designated as a global terrorist organization in 2020.

One of the individuals, Stanislav Shevchuk, a Europe-based RIM representative, traveled to the US in 2017 “for the purpose of establishing a connection”, according to a Treasury Department statement.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
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