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Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Representing the 2nd District of Illinois


“Is the DOJ targeting the real terrorists?” ask Congresswoman Kelly & 40 Members of Congress

Aug 29, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Robin Kelly, a member of the House Emerging Threats Subcommittee, led a letter, signed by 40 of her colleagues, requesting clarification on the focus and operational capacity of the Department of Justice’s Countering Violence Extremism (CVE) program.

“In the 14 years following the horrific events of 9/11/01, ‘right-wing extremists’ killed nearly twice as many Americans and conducted three times the number of attacks as jihadist extremists,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly. “Despite these facts and clear calls for more action from law enforcement, rumors have circulated that the DOJ has or will shift its CVE program away from targeting these dangerous terrorist groups that regularly target Americans for violence and attack our homeland. Is the DOJ targeting the real terrorists?”

In the letter, the Members write: “As Members of Congress, we have no higher responsibility than protecting the lives of American citizens.”

Tragically, the events in Charlottesville, Virginia were a reminder that these groups are capable, willing and effective in conducting terrorist attacks that target and kill Americans. 

Despite the clear facts detailing this terrorist threat, Reuters reported in February that the DOJ’s CVE program could begin de-emphasizing or completely disbanding its efforts to combat these terrorist groups.

In the letter, Congresswoman Kelly and her colleagues cite a survey of American sheriffs and chiefs of police showing nearly three quarters consider anti-government violence to be a top three concern for their department. In contrast, just 39 percent cited ‘al-Qeada inspired’ violence as a top concern.

“For years, law enforcement professionals have struggled to convince policymakers of the real and growing threat posed by white supremacists, right-wing extremists and anti-government groups. Why are President Trump, Attorney General Sessions and the Department of Justice ignoring of law enforcement professionals?”

The letter was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the acting Secretary of Homeland Security, the FBI director and Members of Congress leading key committees. The full text of the letter is available here.

No Republicans signed this letter requesting vital information about the DOJ’s efforts to protect Americans from terrorism and combat white supremacist threat, which the FBI and DHS said “will continue to pose a threat of lethal violence.”

  Quick Facts:


White supremacists & related organizations

Jihadists extremists


Number of fatal terrorist attacks conducted in the 14 years following 9/11/01



White supremacists and related organizations carried out more than three times the number of terrorist attacks.

Number of Americans killed in terrorist attacks during the 14 years following 9/11/01



White supremacists and related organizations killed nearly twice as many Americans.

Law enforcement leader listing the specific type of terrorism as a “top 3 concern” in 2015.



More sheriffs and chiefs of police (+35%) believe white supremacists and related organizations are a greater threat/concern.


Robin Kelly



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