Discussion on Domestic Terrorism Featuring Assistant Attorney General John Carlin

On October 14, 2015 George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, in conjunction with the Southern Poverty Law Center, hosted Assistant Attorney General John Carlin for a discussion on domestic terrorism. Mr. Carlin used the venue to announce the appointment of a new domestic terrorism coordinator for the Department of Justice. The room was filled with over 100 people and was covered live by C-SPAN. Additionally, NBC News, FOX News, ABC News, CNN, National Public Radio, Associated Press, and the Huffington Post reporters were in attendance and wrote positively about the event.


Featured Speaker:
The Honorable John P. Carlin
Assistant Attorney General for National Security
U.S. Department of Justice

Moderated by:
Dr. Lorenzo Vidino
Director of the GWU’s Program on Extremism

Dr. Heidi Beirich
Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project

Wednesday October 14, 2015
10:00am until 11:30am
State Room | 7th Floor
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, Northwest
Washington, DC 20052


Link to Video of the Event: http://www.c-span.org/video/?328731-1/assistant-attorney-general-john-carlin-domestic-terrorism-threat

Full Remarks: http://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/assistant-attorney-general-john-p-carlin-delivers-remarks-domestic-terrorism-event-co


Thank you, Lorenzo Vidino, for that kind introduction. It is an honor to be at this event, co-hosted by the George Washington University’s new Program on Extremism and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The partnership between SPLC and GW serves as a reminder that violent extremism is neither a new phenomenon, nor one that is limited to any single population, region or ideology. ..But as we gather today, new and disturbing trends loom over the horizon – trends we must understand to defeat. New initiatives, like GW’s program, which focus on empirical research and analysis, are critical to policymakers and the interested public alike.

No single ideology governs hate and extremism – nevertheless, we see commonalities among those who wish to do us harm. This gives us important information as we shape our deterrence and disruption strategies. Across the spectrum of extremist ideologies, two related traits emerge: first, the prevalence of lone offender attacks that do not require a terrorist network; and second, the increasing number of disaffected people inspired to violence who communicate their hate-filled views over the Internet and through social media.

Both of these traits are present in the threat posed by ISIL...Second, across the spectrum of extremist ideologies, we see an alarming new trend – an increasing number of disaffected people linked together in their adherence to violence over the Internet and through social media. As the ISIL threat reveals, new communications technologies, including social media and the widespread use of encryption, pose tremendous challenges to public safety and national security and these are challenges everyone with a stake in the matter must continue to work together to address.

The same is true for domestic terrorism and extremism. Sovereign citizens continue to communicate and recruit through the use of YouTube and Twitter. White supremacists post to social media, and studies now posit that mass killings are contagious. Violence begets violence, and through the power of the internet, a meeting hall is no longer needed. Formal organizational structures are unnecessary. Connections are made, and messages spread, through the push of a button.

Media Coverage: