Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this is a reproduction of three important 2021 House hearings: Dollars Against Democracy: Domestic Terrorist Financing in the Aftermath of Insurrection; Examining the Domestic Terrorism Threat in the Wake of the Attack on the U.S. Capitol; State and Local Responses to Domestic Terrorism: The Attack on the U.S. Capitol and Beyond.
Introducing the Dollars Against Democracy hearing, Chairman Himes noted: the country faces a, ''more dangerous period in the wake of January 6th than we did after the Oklahoma City bombing, the single deadliest act of domestic terrorism in American history.'' This threat is real and it is, therefore, incumbent on all of us on this subcommittee to look at the ways that these extremist groups fund not only their violent activities, but their recruitment and radicalization efforts as well. In the wake of the attacks of September 11th, we recast the entire Federal Government, and worked feverishly to defund terrorist extremes. To effectively disrupt domestic extremist groups, we need to better understand their financing. In today's hearing, I want us to focus on three important areas. First, to better understand how these groups are raising money. Unlike ISIS, for example, these organizations are not pyramid-shaped, where funding comes from a handful of easily disruptible areas. An online fundraising drive for a legitimate charity, and one that helps support an extremist group, can look very similar. Some extremist groups are eschewing the traditional banking sector in favor of cryptocurrency, thereby avoiding our traditional methods of disrupting extremist financing. Second, to give serious thought to where our efforts on disruption are best spent. Terrorist attacks rely on their asymmetrical nature to be effective. Many of the domestic terrorist attacks in recent memory have been self-funded. The bomb constructed by Timothy McVeigh cost less than $5,000. However, recruitment and radicalization efforts are often more resourced and time-intensive. Targeting these efforts may provide an avenue for preventing future attacks. Third, we need to be conscientiously mindful of the civil liberties concerns at play here. Unlike international extremist groups, law enforcement is constrained by the Constitution when dealing with domestic extremists. Balancing the desire to give law enforcement the tools necessary to disrupt these groups, with the need to respect the rights of all Americans in the Constitution to which we have all pledged an oath, is essential.
Chairman Thompson made the following statement at the beginning of his hearing: I want to take a moment to remember Officer Brian Sicknick, who lost his life in the line of duty, and other members of law enforcement who responded to the attack who have tragically passed away.
Several others tragically lost their lives during the domestic terrorism attack on our Nation, incited by the former President and his enablers seeking to overturn the results of a legitimate election. As Members of this committee are keenly aware, this act of terrorism was not an isolated incident. During the 116th Congress, the committee held 11 hearings that looked at various domestic terrorism threats. Over a year ago, FBI Director Wray sat before us and warned that domestic terrorism cases were at an all-time high, with racially-motivated violent extremists posing the greatest threat. Then, in July 2020, we received testimony from domestic terrorism expert J.J. MacNab that cautioned, and I quote, ''that the upcoming election will spark one or more violent events if the President loses his reelection bid. ''[His supporters] want him to continue, and they have talked about civil war now for years if he does not.''