WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden identified white supremacy as a domestic terror threat that the country must remain vigilant against in his first joint address to Congress on Wednesday.
In discussing his order to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, Biden noted global terror networks have largely moved beyond the country and that white supremacists posed a bigger threat than foreign actors.
“We won’t ignore what our intelligence agencies have determined to be the most lethal terrorist threat to our homeland today: White supremacy is terrorism,” Biden cautioned
Biden made his comments while speaking in House chamber, which just three months ago was infiltrated by a pro-Trump mob in an effort to overthrow the 2020 presidential election. Rioters carried Confederate flags and nooses, and wore shirts saying the deaths of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust weren’t enough.
“White supremacy is terrorism, and we’re not going to ignore that either. My fellow Americans, look, we have to come together to heal the soul of this nation,” Biden said.
Federal law enforcement and analysts within the Department of Homeland Security warn that the threat from white supremacist organizations will remain a persistent threat in the country in the coming years.
White supremacists and other like-minded extremists conducted 67% of terrorist plots and attacks in the United States in 2020, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. It also noted anarchist, anti-fascist, and other like-minded attacks and plots comprised 20% of U.S. terrorist incidents in 2020, an increase from 8% in 2019.
Contributing: Kevin Johnson