Former FBI agent says the new DOJ unit on domestic terrorism is ‘filled with concerns about the first amendment’


Former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker is concerned about the intentions of the Justice Department’s new unit dedicated to investigating domestic terrorism.

“I do not think it is necessarily necessary as they already have a national security department, like the FBI, and another section that covers counter-terrorism,” Swecker said. FOX News Radio Jessica Rosenthal on “The Fox News Rundown Podcast” on Wednesday.

“I just hope it’s not just focused on right-wing extremism,” he added.

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Swecker said determining whether the new device is a good use of time and resources depends on how the department plans to use it. Domestic terrorism, he said, is an area that has been “closely monitored” since the 1970s, when the church committee investigated intelligence abuses and installed security measures in the wake of their findings.

Former FBI agent says the new DOJ unit on domestic terrorism is ‘filled with concerns about the first amendment’

President Biden listens as Vice President Kamala Harris speaks from the Statuary Hall at the US Capitol to mark a year since the January 6 riots in the Capitol by supporters loyal to then-President Donald Trump on Thursday, January 6, 2022 in Washington. (Drew Angerer / Pool via AP)
(Drew Angerer / Pool via AP)

The former FBI official was concerned that the DOJ’s new venture might stumble into a difficult area.

“This is an area filled with concerns about the first amendment,” Swecker said. “It’s very easy to slip across that line and start examining ideology and thoughts and not just violent behavior and the type of behavior and activity that crosses the line.”

The unit, he claimed, was “powered” by the Capitol riots on January 6.

“I think that is by far what is responsible for the increase in the volume of cases in domestic terrorism, or what they call violent extremist activities in the home,” he said.

A large group of police arrive at the Capitol on Thursday, January 6, 2022 in Washington.  President Biden and members of Congress mark a year since the US Capitol uprising on January 6th.  (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

A large group of police arrive at the Capitol on Thursday, January 6, 2022 in Washington. President Biden and members of Congress mark a year since the US Capitol uprising on January 6th. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

Swecker also cited the Internet as a contributor to the caseload, as the FBI often “looks at chats” online.

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Republican U.S. senators sounded like the new unit in the Justice Department at a hearing Tuesday and grilled Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen on its motives. Late. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., for example, wondered whether the DOJ’s resources would be better used to investigate international terrorism.

Late.  Lindsey Graham, R-SC, interrogates U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland during a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee examining the Department of Justice on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 27, 2021. Tasos Katopodis / Pool via REUTERS

Late. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, interrogates U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland during a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee examining the Department of Justice on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 27, 2021. Tasos Katopodis / Pool via REUTERS
(Tasos Katopodis / Pool via REUTERS)

“How many people have come across our southern border from countries of special interest?” asked Graham.

“It’s been three to four thousand,” Graham said later. “We have had dozens of people on the terror border surveillance list encountered at the southern border. Here is some advice – if you need more resources, get them from me, but if I were you, I would go to the border. and check what’s going on, because in my humble opinion, it’s just a matter of time before the broken southern border becomes a gateway for international terrorists who will come here and kill a lot of Americans if we do. . “

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SWecker agreed with Graham’s conclusion and said on Wednesday that international terrorism, like threats from North Korea and Iran, is “far” a bigger threat than what the new DOJ unit intends to investigate.

“I think most anti-terrorism experts would tell you that,” he added.

Fox News’ Timothy HJ Nerozzi contributed to this report.

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