Re Domestic Terrorism: There Ought to Be a Law

Domestic terrorism is a national problem. It should also be a federal crime.

Excerpt from Opinion by Richard B. Zabel

TheWashington Post

Feb. 2, 2021 at 9:16 a.m. EST

Richard B. Zabel oversaw terrorism prosecutions as deputy U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York from 2011 to 2015 and teaches national security law at Columbia Law School.

TOPSHOT – Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they push barricades to storm the US Capitol in Washington D.C on January 6, 2021. – Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP) (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

The United States faces a rising threat of violent extremism yet has no law targeting the problem. The Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and the Department of Homeland Security’s first-ever national domestic terrorism bulletin on Jan. 27 have sounded the alarm that it is time for Congress to fix this gap: We need anti-terrorism laws aimed at domestic terrorism.