In the span of a week, our nation experienced a torrent of hate-fueled attacks: the slaying of two African Americans in a Kentucky supermarket , the mail-bomb assassination attempts and the mass slaying in a Pittsburgh synagogue . These attacks tragically demonstrate that domestic terrorism is on the rise as political polarization and hateful echo chambers on social media radicalize people.
As we mourn those who died in Kentucky and Pittsburgh, we should recognize that such tragedies highlight a dangerous counterterrorism gap that has developed over time: an insufficient focus by the federal government on the threat of domestic terrorism.
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the government developed today’s counterterrorism apparatus, which has largely been successful in preventing foreign terrorists from inflicting destruction on our homeland. But the threats we now face are more likely to come from individuals radicalized toward violence here at home. As we did after 9/11 in response to foreign terrorism, we need a strategic approach to this homeland security challenge…
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