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Psaki announces steps Biden administration will take to combat domestic violent extremism

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday announced a slew of actions the Biden administration will take to combat domestic violent extremism in the wake of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

“The Biden administration will confront this threat with the necessary resources and resolve. We are committed to developing policies and strategies based on facts, on objective and rigorous analysis, and on our respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities,” Psaki said Friday at the White House press briefing.

She said the initial work will fall into three areas. First, she announced President Joe Biden tasked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to compile a “comprehensive threat assessment, coordinated with the FBI and DHS on domestic violent extremism,” adding that the analysis will come from across government and non-governmental agencies.

She also said the administration will build the National Security Council’s capability to focus on combating domestic extremism.

“As a part of this the NSC will undertake a policy review effort to determine how the government can share information better about this threat, support efforts to prevent radicalization, disrupt violent extremist networks and more,” Psaki said.

Finally, Psaki said the administration will be “coordinating relevant parts of the federal government to enhance and accelerate efforts to address DVE.”

“This considered NSC convened process will focus on addressing evolving threats, radicalization, the role of social media, opportunities to improve information sharing, operational responses and more,” she said.

In response to the announcement, the FBI Agents Association, which represents thousands of sworn bureau personnel, called Friday for federal domestic terrorism legislation.

“Congress should immediately pass legislation to make domestic terrorism a federal crime,” a statement from the association read, adding that federal legislation is “a necessary action that would help make it clear that political violence — no matter the ideology or the person behind it — is unacceptable. FBIAA looks forward to working with the Administration and Congress in the important effort to combat domestic terrorism.”

The FBI Agents Association has long been a vocal supporter of a domestic terrorism statute, which the organization believes would provide agents with greater tools to combat domestic threats.

This story has been updated with a statement from the FBI Agents Association.

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