Gottheimer Asks U.S. State Department Why International White Supremacist Groups Aren’t Listed as Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Oct 17, 2019
Press

Gottheimer and Members of Congress name three foreign white supremacist groups that have been cited for ties to terrorist attacks, but are not included on State Dept. list

This week, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and other members of Congress sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State demanding answers as to why white supremacist extremist groups abroad are not included on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). The letter follows the attack on the German synagogue last week, which mirrored terrorist attacks on a synagogue in Poway, CA, and a grocery store in El Paso, TX, that were inspired by foreign white supremacist groups, as was the Christchurch, New Zealand attack that killed fifty-one people.

“The spread of anti-Semitic, white supremacist terrorism from Pittsburgh to Poway to Halle is a global threat spread by foreign groups who have free reign to recruit Americans over the internet,” the letter reads. “Today, if an American citizen swears allegiance to the Islamic State (or another Foreign Terrorist Organization on the list) and spreads their message of terror, there are several resources available to the Federal government to counter the threat. However, if that same American citizen swears allegiance to a violent white supremacist extremist group based overseas and spreads their message of terror, the Federal government does not have access to the same tools.”

The letter continues, “As you know, the State Department’s criteria for inclusion on the FTO list are simple: be a foreign organization, engage in or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorism, and threaten the security of US nationals or the national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests of the United States. There are numerous examples of foreign white nationalist groups that fit these conditions. The American people deserve an explanation as to why these groups are not included on the FTO list.”

Read the full letter HERE.

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