ZOA: Seriously Flawed “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act” Excludes Major Forms of Domestic Terrorism (Including Foreign-Terrorist-Group-Inspired Domestic Terrorism); Must Be Amended
May 19, 2022

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Director of Research and Special Projects Elizabeth Berney, Esq. released the following statement:

In the wake of the terrible Buffalo shooting by a deranged teenage anti-Black racist, antisemitic white supremacist, there is now a rush to try to pass the seriously flawed proposed “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022.” This Act needs to be amended before passage is considered, because, among other problems, the Act excludes major forms of domestic terrorism – namely, terrorism taking place in the U.S. associated with or inspired by foreign terrorists or state-sponsors of terrorism. An Act that directs the FBI, Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to focus on “domestic terrorism” should not be excluding significant forms of domestic terrorism that endanger Americans.  

Under current law, the legal definition of “domestic terrorism” encompasses criminal acts dangerous to human life intended to intimidate or coerce the civilian population or government action, or that “affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping,” that “occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.” (18 U.S. Code § 2331(5).) Thus, this current definition encompasses all domestic terror – no matter what the source – that occurs in the U.S. The proposed “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022” needs to be amended to likewise encompass all domestic terror.

As the proposed “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022” is now written, the Act would exclude the worst domestic attack after 9-11: the 2009 massacre perpetrated by Major Nidal Malik Hasan – who, after communicating with Islamist cleric and top terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, murdered 13 innocent Americans and wounded another 42 innocent Americans at Fort Hood, while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” The proposed Act would also exclude the Al Qaeda-inspired Boston Marathon bombing massacre in 2013; Islamist-terrorist-inspired Zaim Farouq Abdul-Malik’s hatchet attack on police officers in Queens in 2014; the deadly 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting at a Christmas party in which ISIS-inspired Islamist terrorists murdered 14 innocent people; Omar Mateen’s ISIS-inspired massacre of 49 innocent people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in 2016; planned jihadist bombing attacks in New York’s Times Square and subways and New Jersey in 2016; the ISIS-inspired Somali Islamist car ramming attack that injured 11 people at Ohio State University in 2016; the 2017 ISIS-inspired truck ramming attack in lower Manhattan, in which 8 innocent people were murdered and another 11 innocent people were injured; and Iranian-sponsored terror efforts in 2018-2021 to kidnap a Iranian-American journalist and other dissidents on U.S. soil.

It is also concerning that the proposed “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022” also omits specifically mentioning domestic terrorism from sources other than white supremacists and neo-Nazis, in an era when law enforcement should be focusing on domestic terror from all sources. As we saw this past weekend, white supremacist and neo-Nazi terrorism is a horrible scourge. But so are the Black supremacist murders of Jews and others at a kosher grocery in Jersey City in 2019; the 2019 murderous stabbing and axe attack perpetrated by a deranged Black supremacist at a Hanukkah party in Monsey (which then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo correctly described as domestic terrorism); a white-people-hating Black supremacist’s truck ramming massacre at a Waukesha Christmas parade in 2021 in which he murdered six people, including a young child and badly injured another 60 other innocent people; and a Taiwanese-hating Chinese-born gunman’s deadly attack on elderly Taiwanese worshipers at a Taiwanese church in California just this past weekend.

The proposed Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022’s exclusion of standard forms of domestic terrorism is also concerning because the proposed Act authorizes a one-sided search of the U.S. armed services for only certain types of domestic terrorists. Thus, the proposed Act would not uncover Islamist terrorists such as Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan. This sort of deliberate myopia poses unacceptable risks to the U.S. public.

The proposed Act also calls for annual bias training of all employees at designated offices of the FBI, DHS, DOJ, and their agencies. What will this training encompass? It is concerning if the training is limited to only certain types of domestic terrorism, to the exclusion of other domestic terror risks to the public. This should be examined and specified prior to passing the Act.

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