This past Friday, House Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) delivered a letter to President Biden that urged him to sign an executive order that recognizes violent extremism and white supremacy as a major threat to national security.
Rep. Speier, a high-ranking Democrat who serves as the House Armed Services Military Personnel subcommittee chair, also urged various federal agencies to review the social media accounts of military recruits and others seeking federal security clearance as part of the recruitment process.
Throughout her letter, which was also addressed to Director of National Intelligence, Arvil Haines, and the Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, Speier expressed alarm over the increasing threat of domestic extremism, as well as the insufficient screening of potential service members by the federal government and DoD.
Speier notes that various social media platforms are often utilized by varied domestic terror groups for purposes of recruiting members and planning attacks, “yet social media is not [consulted] during the military’s accessions process or … the background investigation” in terms of receiving security clearances.
Earlier in January, Biden commanded his administration to begin conducting a thorough assessment of the risk posed by domestic terrorism. The Office of the National Director of National Intelligence was tasked with carrying out this assessment, alongside the DHS and FBI.
The White House declined to comment on Speier’s letter.
This past week, DHS also warned Americans that the United States may face higher threats of domestic extremism in the coming weeks, in light of the events of Capitol Hill and people’s anger over the presidential election outcome.