The federal government has millions more in funding this year to stem the growing tide of domestic extremist violence. The budget increase comes at the petition of Rep. Tom Malinowski (NJ-7).
Malinowski, a Democrat, led an early December letter signed by 13 colleagues to the Appropriations Committee requesting new funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention. The final appropriations package, passed in mid-December, included $7.5 million in additional funding for this office, an increase of $4.7 million over 2019.
The appropriations package also provides $10 million to reestablish a grants program within the Office of Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention. This program, launched under the Obama administration, helps non-governmental organizations and state and local law enforcement fund terrorism prevention and deradicalization efforts. When it expired in July, 2019, President Trump did not renew it.
Extremists were linked to at least 50 murders in the U.S. in 2018, making them responsible for more deaths than in any year since 1995, according to data from the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks murders perpetrated by all types of extremists. A 2019 ADL report found that every extremist murder in 2018, from Pittsburgh to Parkland, was linked to right-wing extremism.
The nationwide swell of white nationalism, anti-Semitism, and other hate-based ideologies has been felt New Jersey’s 7th district, according to Malinowski’s office.
Just days after the congressman formally called for increased funding to address that threat, two shooters attacked a Jewish grocery store in Jersey City, killing three Jewish Americans and one police officer.
“It is well past time to take the threat of domestic terrorism as seriously as we’ve rightly taken the threat posed by international terrorist organizations,” Malinowski said in a statement.
Clarification: This article was updated to clarify the type of violence on the rise.