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US Targets Domestic Terrorism With New Position

FILE - The Department of Justice headquarters building in Washington.
FILE - The Department of Justice headquarters building in Washington.

The U.S. Justice Department is creating a position to coordinate investigations into the growing number of domestic terrorism cases in the United States.

John Carlin, the head of the law enforcement agency's national security division, told a group at George Washington University on Wednesday that the official who holds the as-yet-unnamed position would lead development of strategies to thwart U.S.-based attacks and oversee prosecution of suspected terrorists.

Carlin said more Americans have been killed in recent years by domestic extremists than in attacks linked to international terrorist groups. In one prominent incident this year, a man with white supremacist views shot nine African-Americans to death in a church hall in Charleston, South Carolina.

"Homegrown violent extremists can be motivated by any viewpoint on a whole spectrum of hate: anti-government views, racism, bigotry, anarchy and other despicable beliefs," Carlin said.

He said there "is no single ideology that governs."

Carlin said the Justice Department had no intention of trying to curb constitutionally protected freedom of speech in the United States. But he said the agency would focus "on the line between speech and violence."

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