On Monday, State Senators Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles) and Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) announced that they would soon be introducing a bill to have the state create special investigation units focusing on domestic terrorism.
The as of yet unnumbered bill, written by Senators Stern and Umberg in response to the storming of the United States Capitol Building in Washington D.C. last week, would specifically have the Attorney General and the Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) be in charge of creating such teams. Within the California Department of Justice, teams would specifically investigate coordinate efforts to stop any incidences of domestic terror, hate crimes, and other criminal endeavors done by, according to the press release, “white nationalist, neo-Nazi, neo-confederate, anti-government militia, and other similar groups.” The CalOES State Threat Assessment group would assess threats from the same groups.
While the definition of such groups encompasses several dozen groups operating in the U.S., Stern and Umberg specifically named several including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and the Ku Klux Klan.
“Let’s be very clear. What happened last week wasn’t Antifa,” said Senator Stern on Monday. “It was effectively sponsored by a President and his loyalists in local, state and federal office who have been encouraging and supporting the white nationalist movement, helping it get bigger and stronger to try and normalize the types of atrocious activities we witnessed in Washington. We have to respond not just with blustery condemnation, but with a concrete answer to this threat to domestic security.”
Senator Umberg also noted his reasoning for the bill on Monday.
“The most effective way to combat domestic terrorism is with actionable intelligence gathered from all reliable investigative agencies,” stated the Senator.
Targeting domestic terrorism
The bill currently under draft is also basing its targeting of such groups on an October 2020 Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) study that found that two-thirds of all domestic terrorist plots and acts in 2020 in the United States had been conducted by the targeted groups.
While there is no known opposition to the soon-to-be bill as of Monday, some have called for the inclusion of left wing groups, such as those that rioted in American cities during the summer of 2020, to be included as well.
“You need to look at everyone who has, or is planning, acts like that,” explained an anonymous law enforcement advisor and former detective to the Globe. “If you look at those that broke into the Capitol and were in the million MAGA march, then you need to look at the groups and individuals who were burning police stations in Portland and assaulting others too. We need to unpolarize right now and base it all on law and order. Set aside all the background noise of stealing elections and police injustice and everything else right now, and let’s look at the actions of all those people.”
“Both sides broke the law, and there were groups responsible for each. ACAB, MAGA, doesn’t matter. So if California is going after groups on one side, it’s not only fair, but it’s a matter of justice that the other sides groups are treated the same way, because they terrorized too.
“I know I’m making people on both sides mad by saying this, but it’s important that we look at anyone and everyone who may terrorize or injure people like this. Everyone who can do this needs to be looked at. And I hope that the bill is updated to include that.”
The bill is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks, with assignment to the Senate policy committee being expected by March.
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