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'Grave mistake': Grassley slams Biden domestic terror strategy for omitting anarchist extremists

Twenty five percent of FBI domestic terror cases involve left-wing anarchists, but they were ignored in recent strategy, longtime senator warns.

Published: July 27, 2021 7:54pm

Updated: July 27, 2021 10:54pm

One of the Senate's longest serving members is taking on the Biden administration's new strategy for combatting domestic terrorism, warning it is a "grave mistake" to omit focus on left-wing anarchists who waged weeks of violence on America's streets last summer.

During a stirring speech to the Senate on Tuesday, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) panned the new National Security Council plan released last month for emphasizing gun control and critical race theory curriculum while ignoring anarchist threats from groups like Antifa. "I was very concerned to see that the policy took a partisan tone," he lamented.

"What the report was missing, I found shocking," he added. "The report was lacking any strategy to combat anarchist extremism. Specifically, there was no mention of the 500 domestic terrorism investigations that were opened throughout the 2020 riots. Those 500 cases amount to about 25 percent of the FBI's current domestic terrorism investigations.

"How could the cause of 25 percent of the current FBI caseload not be mentioned?" he asked. "It's a grave mistake to make an issue like domestic terrorism partisan, even in the slightest. Judging by the report, I'm afraid that's exactly what the administration is doing."

The 87-year-old Grassley, who has served in the Senate since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, implored his colleagues to demand more of the Biden administration and its approach to domestic terrorism.

"It is of critical importance to keep in mind the great bipartisan work that can and should be done to address domestic terrorism of all types, right-wing and left-wing, including anarchist extremism," he said. "We have to work together on diving deeper into serious, apolitical solutions to this issue. The American people deserve it."

Grassley's seat is up in the 2022 election, and he has not yet said whether he would run for an eighth term, though many in the GOP are urging him to do so.

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