DHS Secretary Mayorkas Launches Internal Domestic Violent Extremism Review

DHS Secretary Mayorkas Launches Internal Domestic Violent Extremism Review

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has launched an internal probe "to address the threat of domestic violent extremism within the Department of Homeland Security," according to a letter he wrote to all DHS employees.

A working group will be established, which will provide a "comprehensive review of how to best prevent, detect and respond to threats related to domestic violent extremism within DHS," Mayorkas wrote.

"Given the evolving threat landscape and the grave risks posed by domestic violent extremism, including to our employees and operations, I have directed the Department to immediately begin a review of how to best prevent, detect, and respond to domestic violent extremism threats within DHS," the letter reads. "The team managing this internal effort, led by our Chief Security Officer, will report back to me with its recommendations."

Mayorkas said people from the department will discuss their plans to move forward in the coming days.

"We will not allow hateful acts or violent extremism to penetrate the fabric of our Department and fundamentally compromise our ability to protect the Homeland," Mayorkas wrote.

More than 240,000 employees comprise multiple agencies including FEMA, the Secret Service and the Coast Guard.

The Secretary’s letter comes about two years after former Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson was charged by the U.S. Attorney in Maryland on firearms charges.

Hasson was arrested in the parking lot of the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, according to authorities.

According to court documents, Hasson was described as someone who had "espoused extremist views for years."

In a draft email from June 2017 he allegedly wrote, "I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth. I think a plague would be most successful but how do I acquire the needed/ Spanish flu, botulism, anthrax not sure yet but will find something."

He was found to have been studying the writings of previous domestic terrorists and was particularly interested in that of Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian terrorist who killed 77 people in 2011, prosecutors alleged.

Hasson was sentenced to 160 months in prison last year.

  • Remembering 9/11 Remembering 9/11

    In this episode, Security Today Editor-in-Chief Ralph C. Jensen Talks with Steve Karoly about security and transportation issues, specifically airport, airline and passenger security. It is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA. Much has changed concerning security efforts about airport transportation security. The conversation talks about the role that technology plays in protecting the flying public and steps taken to ensure there hasn’t been a successful terrorist attack on a U.S. airliner since 9/11. Checkpoint and screening are evolving at a rapid pace, and the conversation centers on new measures and technologies that are being integrated into checkpoints.

Digital Edition

  • Security Today Magazine - July August 2021

    July August 2021

    Featuring:

    • Tee Up the Security
    • Listen Clearly
    • Turning to the Cloud
    • COVID-19 The Final Push
    • Redefining Security

    View This Issue

  • Environmental Protection
  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Infrastructure Solutions Group
  • Spaces4Learning
  • Campus Security & Life Safety