Andrew Jon Thomasberg, a member of the white supremacist organization Attomwaffen Division, pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia to possession of firearms while being an unlawful drug user and to making a false statement in order to illegally purchase a firearm. He faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. The plea agreement and the criminal complaint are available below.
Latest in Domestic Terrorism
On Nov. 5, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee examined three evolving homeland security threats: domestic terrorism, Chinese cyber and counterintelligence operations, and the risk new technologies pose to the American public.
An affidavit written by F.B.I. special agent John W. Smith was unsealed on Nov. 4 that lays out facts supporting the arrest of Richard Holzer, a white supremacist who allegedly sought to blow up a Jewish synagogue in Colorado. The affidavit claims the evidence meets the definition of “domestic terrorism.” The document can be found here and below.
Over the weekend, the president sent a tweet that seemed to warn of civil war if he were to be impeached and removed from office:
....If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNews
Following recent attacks in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio, we have seen a renewed call for domestic terrorism laws to give federal law enforcement the same types of tools that are available to combat violent acts committed by international terrorists. Proposed bills in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate will help the FBI confront domestic terrorism on the terms it favors—left of boom.
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who leads the House Intelligence Committee, has announced a bill to criminalize domestic terrorism. In a domestic analogue to 18 U.S.C.
Sen. Martha McSally has proposed a draft bill to make domestic terrorism a federal crime, following the recent mass shootings in Texas, Ohio and California. The bill would also require an annual report from the attorney general, the director of the FBI and the secretary of homeland security assessing the current domestic terrorism risk as well as providing an analysis of domestic terrorism incidents or attempted incidents.
The El Paso terrorist attack has revived interest in the possibility of making “domestic terrorism” a federal offense.
On Aug. 4, in Dayton, Ohio, a gunman opened fire and killed nine people. The day before, another shooter killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas, apparently after posting a racist message to the anonymous online forum 8chan decrying an ostensible “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Though there is no indication so far that the Dayton shooting was motivated by extremist political beliefs, the violence in El Paso is the third mass shooting in 2019 to be linked to 8chan and to some form of far-right extremism.
Recently, Lawfare published a compelling article by leading former national security officials on the similarities between international terrorism and domestic terrorism, and the problems caused when governments seek to draw an overly rigid distinction between the two.