Cuomo Calls For Legislation To Redefine Domestic Terrorism As 'Hate-Inspired, Mass Murder By An American'
Aug. 15 — ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo wants to redefine domestic terrorism, but he hasn’t figured out how to do it yet.
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The governor on Wednesday called domestic terrorism “hate-inspired, mass murder by an American” — and he wants to combat hate crimes and white supremacist groups with legislation that would do the same.
“We are in a transition again where we have these new problems, new complexities that crop up that we have to adjust to,” Cuomo told Long Island News radio.
The in-the-works measure was directly inspired by recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and will be aimed at the spread of information online, the governor said. The shooter in the Texas massacre said he was targeting Mexican immigrants.
“These white supremacist groups, these white nationalist groups, this hate that breeds on the internet, and then you put that together with an assault weapon and you have 22 dead in a couple of minutes,” Cuomo said. “I’m going to do a proposal for a law in the state of New York that basically redefines domestic terrorism.”
The governor and other critics have repeatedly tied the recent rise in white nationalists and hate groups to President Trump’s racist rhetoric.
Last year, 49 people were murdered by far-right extremists, more than any year since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
From 2009 through 2018, the far right has been responsible for 73% of domestic extremist-related fatalities, according to the group.
The FBI defines domestic terrorism as actions taken by people “inspired by or associated primarily with U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial or environmental nature.”
“There is an anger out there, where we are angry at ourselves, other Americans … and the enemy is within,” Cuomo said.
FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress in July that a majority of the bureau’s domestic terrorism investigations since October were linked to white supremacy.
It’s unclear exactly what Cuomo’s proposed law would do and his office did not release any details of any planned pieces of legislation. New York is already one of 34 states with laws that make acts of terrorism state-level felonies.
The governor’s proposal is not an original one. Sen. Martha McSally (R-Arizona) is currently calling on Congress to criminalize domestic terrorism at the federal level.
“For too long we have allowed those who commit heinous acts of domestic terrorism to be charged with related crimes that don’t portray the full scope of their hateful actions,” she said.
McSally’s proposal would criminalize politically motivated violence and allow federal authorities to charge suspects with acts of domestic terrorism. ___
This article is written by Denis Slattery from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.