Domestic Terrorism U.S. Senate

Former FBI Terrorism Expert Calls Josh Hawley An ‘Inspirer’ Of Domestic Terror Attacks

With one gesture — an upraised fist — Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley made it clear that he stood with the thousands of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 and caused the deaths of 5 people, including a police officer.

And with that gesture, according to former FBI Special Agent Clint Watts, Hawley let it be known that he has no problem being an “inspirer” of domestic terrorist attacks.

Appearing on MSNBC Sunday, Watts was asked by host Jonathan Capehart:

“What can we do? We know that domestic terrorism is a grave threat –what can we do to stop it?”

Watts replied:

“So there are several things that we don’t have for domestic terrorism that we did have for the international terrorism over the last 20 years. One is we developed an entire architecture that was focused on a group or relatively defined group, I should say, al Qaeda and then it spawned the Islamic State, so we had a terrorist designation. That we just do not have in the domestic space and it perplexes our ability because that brings up laws and procedures.”

Watts also noted that the larger question is what we do with those who incite crowds to commit violent acts:

“It’s been the crux of the debate since January 6th; what are Americans, you know, willing to let American law enforcement do to protect them? It’s just not very clear. Separately, this is empowered by political leaders, just like during the Al Qaeda-ISIS era, we looked at people like [Osama] bin Laden — he wasn’t a fighter, he was an inspirer.”

The fact that Hawley is an elected official, Watts concluded, means the threat is even more acute than the one we faced from foes such as Al Qaeda or ISIS:

“We have that today except it’s our elected officials. It’s our political leaders that are doing this more than domestic extremists. What you see right there President Trump told them they were going to the Capitol that day. They didn’t pick the Capitol, he said it, his organizers they promoted it, his fellow congressmen in the GOP, they promoted it.

“It was Josh Hawley out there fist-bumping the crowd, right? Before it went in. That’s the thing we look for to see, hey, where are they tipping to. For the most part, the groups aren’t picking the targets. It’s the elected leaders.”

To borrow a phrase from a well-known horror movie, the call is coming from within the house. Even worse, it’s coming from the very people who are supposed be guarding the house.

Here’s Clint Watts on MSNBC:


By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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