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.
Latest in Domestic Terrorism
The official position of the Department of Justice—according to a legal brief filed in February—is that association with a terrorism charge is so stigmatizing that defendants should not be publicly identified, even after conviction. Doing so would lead to “harassment, embarrassment, barriers to reintegration and renewed public attention.” It might even expose defendants to “the potential for violence or renewed contact” by extremist groups “plotting future terrorist attacks or intimidating witnesses.”
Cesar Altieri Sayoc, arrested in October 2018 in connection with the mailing of 16 pipe bombs to 13 former government officials and prominent Democrats, pleaded guilty on Thursday to 65 felony counts in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Sayoc was charged by the Manhattan U.S.
A Maryland-based Coast Guardsman, Christopher Hasson, has been charged with criminal possession of firearms, under 18 U.S.C.
On Oct. 27, Robert Bowers launched an attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Penn., murdering 11 worshipers and injuring many others. The federal indictment against Bowers charges him with multiple counts of obstructing, by force and threat of force, “the free exercise of religious beliefs” resulting in death and bodily injury and involving the use of a dangerous weapon and attempts to kill.
Before Saturday, Oct. 27, relatively few people were familiar with Gab, the fringe social network developed as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook. By the end of the day, however, media outlets from Reuters to CNN had issued “explainers” on Gab as a online haven for far-right extremism online.
UPDATE: A suspect has been arrested and is in FBI custody. The full criminal complaint is available here.
Attorneys for Sayfullo Saipov, who is accused of killing eight people and injuring 12 others in a vehicular terrorist attack in New York City last Halloween, have petitioned the government to preclude the death penalty again their client or appoint an independent prosecutor to decide whether the death penalty should be pursued.
A federal grand jury returned James Alex Fields Jr. a 30-count indictment after he drove his car into a group of protestors at the August 2017 “Unite the Right Rally” in Charlottesville, Va., killing Heather Heyer. The charges include 29 counts of hate crimes and one count of racially motivated violent interference. The Justice Department released a press release on Wednesday.
In the last year, it appears that the vehicle has become a new “weapon of choice” for international terrorists. Whether a cargo truck deliberately driven into the crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice in July 2016, a tractor-trailer that plowed into a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016, the car and van attacks in London at the Palace of Westminster and London Bridge in March and June of this year, or last Thursday’s van attack in Barcelona, this low-cost, low-planning method of spreading terror has produced high-fatality, high-impact results.