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FBI Blames COVID-19 For Domestic Terror Report Delay

The FBI has failed to produce a legally required report detailing the scope of white supremacist and other domestic terrorism despite concerns that the election could spark far-right violence, The Daily Beast reports. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, says that leaves the nation in the dark about what the FBI concedes is its most urgent terrorist threat, as well as the resources the U.S. government is devoting to fight it. In June, the bureau was supposed to release a report compiling data on domestic terrorism, a category that includes white supremacist violence. The FBI is over four months late. While President Donald Trump falsely portrays left-wing property damage as terrorism, suspicion is building that the FBI will keep the public from seeing the scope of the terror threat before an election that may feature violence emerging from it.

“I would hate to think that they are reacting to President Trump’s machinations about his dislike for senior leadership in the FBI,” Thompson said. “This report probably would not be viewed favorably by this administration. That, I think, precipitates the report not being released by Nov. 3.” The FBI said that, “Due to limitations caused by COVID-19, Part 1 of the report is in the interagency review process. Part 2 is still being drafted.” The report is supposed to include everything from how many agents and intelligence analysts the FBI and DHS assign to domestic terror, a tally of violent incidents stretching back to 2009, and “the rankings of domestic terrorism in relations to other threats” in each of the FBI’s 56 field offices. FBI Director Christoper Wray testified to Thompson’s committee that white supremacist violence is “the biggest chunk” of domestic terrorism.