WASHINGTON – President Biden on Friday ordered the director of National Intelligence to work with the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a full domestic violent extremism threat assessment, a sign of how seriously the new administration is taking the issue following the January 6th Uprising in the Capitol.
The request comes just days after Avril D. Haines, the newly appointed director of the National Intelligence Service, promised members of Congress during their confirmation hearing that she would assist with such an assessment.
The new intelligence work began when individuals charged with the mob attack on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald J. Trump continued to appear in court. On Friday, a federal judge in Dayton, Ohio, ordered Donovan Crowl, an accused rioter associated with the right-wing Oath Guards group, to be held pending trial, citing community safety.
Domestic terrorism and violent groups are a sensitive issue for intelligence agencies like the C.I.A., which limit themselves to prosecuting attempts by foreign governments or organizations to influence extremist groups in America. The F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security have more leeway to investigate domestic groups and domestic terrorism.
However, the order on Friday will have both practical and symbolic significance. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the assessment would help Mr Biden improve his policies to curb violent extremism in the United States.
“This assessment will be based on analysis by the entire government and, where appropriate, non-governmental organizations,” said Ms. Psaki. “The key point here is that we want a fact-based analysis that we can use to shape policy.”
In recent years, some sections of the intelligence community have worked to focus more on the domestic terrorism threat, particularly by doing more to track growing foreign-influenced operations on domestic groups. The C.I.A. There are also officers in the Counter Terrorism Division who specialize in tracking down racially motivated violent extremists overseas.
During the last two sessions of Congress, lawmakers passed a measure requiring intelligence agencies to work on annual reports and strategic assessments of domestic extremism.
“The right-wing extremism of the white supremacists, which is cultivated on online platforms, has become one of the most dangerous threats to our nation,” said representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
The domestic terrorism order is the second task in two days for Ms. Haines, which was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, the White House ordered a new intelligence assessment of Russia and its role in extensive hacking of government computers.
The Biden Administration
The new order in the area of domestic extremism and the growing interest in Capitol Hill could also lead intelligence and law enforcement agencies to look for ways to tighten the persecution and fight against extremist groups in the country.
Growing concern about these groups is also reflected in the tough positions judges have taken on those arrested in connection with the January 6 riot.
Mr. Crowl, the Ohio suspect who was denied bail, was part of a group in paramilitary gear who, according to court records, “approached the Capitol in an organized and skilled manner” to move to the front of the crowd.
In one New York article Regarding the riot, Mr. Crowl, a 50-year-old Ohio resident, admitted he had entered the Capitol but claimed he had traveled to Washington to provide “security” for “VIPs” whom he did not called, and his intentions had been peaceful. However, court records made it clear that prosecutors did not believe this.
“This defendant tried by force to disrupt the process in which our country has been involved for over 200 years,” said prosecutor Nicholas Dingeldein during the hearing on Friday. “He was preparing for a literal war because that organization, the Oath Guards, told him he had to do something.”
Judge Sharon L. Ovington noted that Mr. Crowl had a criminal record and said she saw “clear and convincing evidence” that there were no conditions that would adequately ensure Mr. Crowl’s appearance in court or the safety of the community.
Citing the weapons that authorities found in the place where Mr Crowl had suggested that he would stay if released, she said: “The proposal is to release him to an apartment with at least nine firearms a non-runner. “
Another accused rioter, Scott Kevin Fairlamb, was arrested in New Jersey on Friday after various tipsters submitted evidence to law enforcement. In one video, a man later identified as Mr. Fairlamb pushed and beaten an officer on the Western Front of the Capitol, according to an affidavit from the F.B.I. In a video posted on Mr. Fairlamb’s Facebook page, he was seen holding a collapsible baton and saying, “What are patriots doing?”
With two explosive devices he continued: We “disarm them and then storm the Capitol”.
And in New York, a federal judge on Friday denied bail to Jeffrey Sabol, a Colorado geophysicist who was accused of dragging a cop down the stairs in front of the Capitol and allowing another rioter to hit the cop with an American flag .
At his bail hearing, a prosecutor suggested that Mr Sabol tried to flee the country after the riot. He had bought a plane ticket to Switzerland for which there is no extradition agreement with the United States. Mr. Sabol also tried to kill himself after the riot, the prosecutor said, and spent several days recovering in the hospital.
Nicole Hong and Ben Protess Contribution to reporting.