Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sifting Domestic Terrorism from Hate Crime and Homegrown Violent Extremism

"Domestic terrorism, hate crime, and homegrown violent extremism are three fairly distinct concepts that federal law enforcement agencies use to categorize key types of criminals whose illegal activities are at least partly ideologically motivated.
Domestic Terrorism
Domestic terrorism cases differ from ordinary criminal activity in key ways. Most importantly, unlike ordinary criminals—who are often driven by self-centered motives such as profit and tend to opportunistically seek easy prey— domestic terrorists are driven by a cause or ideology. If the motives involved eventually align with the definition laid out in 18 U.S.C. §2331(5), presumably the case becomes a domestic terrorist investigation.
  •  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines domestic terrorism as "acts of violence that [violate] the criminal laws of the United States or any state, committed by individuals or groups without any foreign direction, and appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, or influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States."

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