Domestic Terrorism in the U.S.: The Need to Rethink Strategy


Bennie G. Thompson, Chairman, Homeland Security Committee

Today, the committee is meeting to examine the threat of domestic terrorism in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Adviser to the RAND President

We have recently seen the resurgence of threats from the far right, as the previous members of the panel have pointed out, culminating in the events of January 6. This unprecedented assault on America's political system will have long-term consequences. I've called for a national commission to review what happened on January 6. The commission's purpose would not be to affix blame, but the reasons for the inadequacy of security must be examined and remedied.

Lou Correa, U.S. Representative

Are we now focused the way we should be on domestic terrorism?

Brian Michael Jenkins

We do need to have a rethink of our fundamental strategy. We simply cannot take the strategies that we have used to deal with homegrown jihadists and say we will apply these to domestic violent extremists.

Kat Cammack, U.S. Representative

How does government and the members of this committee here best move forward in preventing extremism and domestic terrorism while preserving all Americans' First Amendment rights and privacy?

Brian Michael Jenkins

I think we do need to try to recover some of the comity that has been a hallmark of this nation and to reduce the bellicose rhetoric going forward. We certainly, as part of our national strategy, need to bring it down a notch and try to set the standards for how we're going to communicate with one another.