Press Releases

Rose Introduces Bill to Require Terrorist Threat Assessment of Foreign Violent White Supremacist Extremist Groups

Violence by white supremacist extremists in the U.S. have been increasingly linked to groups, individuals, or movements abroad

Washington, January 31, 2020

Congressman Max Rose, Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, introduced the Transnational White Supremacist Extremism Review (WSER) Act this week that would direct the Department of Homeland Security to develop and disseminate a terrorist threat assessment of foreign violent white supremacist extremist groups.

“We can’t only be focused on the threats of yesterday—we need to stay ahead of the curve and ensure law enforcement has the tools and information needed to keep us safe against the threats of today and tomorrow,” said Rose, an Army combat veteran. “We’ve seen the horrific acts of terrorism that have been inspired and carried out by violent white supremacist groups and we cannot sit idly by. Through our Committee work, including hearings and briefings on this issue, it’s clear that law enforcement needs to be equipped with key information and a full understanding of the nature and scope of the threats we face by transnational violent white supremacist groups.”

Researchers and experts have observed that the threat posed by violent white supremacist extremism is increasingly transnational in nature. Some white supremacist extremists have even traveled abroad to train in warzone environments: by one estimate, 17,000 individuals from 50 countries have traveled to battlefields in Ukraine to train and fight, including white supremacist extremists seeking training from neo-Nazi militant groups. In January 2020, Federal authorities arrested a Canadian national, a recruiter for a violent white supremacist extremist group, as he was allegedly planning violence at a gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia.

Violence by white supremacist extremists in the United States has been increasingly linked to groups, individuals, or movements abroad. Some individuals, like the perpetrators of 2019 attacks in El Paso, TX targeting Latinos and other people of color and Poway, CA targeting  Jewish worshipers drew inspiration from white supremacist attacks abroad. Others are members of groups that have formed networks to communicate and train,  and in several cases have carried out acts of violence in the United States.

As Chair of the Intelligence and Counterterrorism (IC) Subcommittee, Rose has led oversight on this emerging threats of foreign violent white supremacist groups. In September 2019, IC Subcommittee Members received testimony on the threat posed by violent white supremacist extremists at home and abroad in a joint hearing with the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism. In October 2019, Rose led a letter with 40 Members of Congress to the Secretary of State demanding answers as to why white supremacist extremist groups are not included on the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO)—which was rebuffed by the State Department. In November 2019, the IC Subcommittee held a Member briefing on transnational white supremacist extremism. In January 2020, the Subcommittee received testimony on this issue at a hearing on the rise in anti-Semitic domestic terrorism.

Text of the legislation HERE.