April 27, 2021 – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced an internal review to address the threat of domestic violent extremism within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Secretary Mayorkas has made identifying, addressing, and preventing domestic violent extremism across our country a top priority.
Our Department plays a critical role in keeping our communities safe and secure. Performing our homeland security mission requires dedication, honor, integrity, and often, enormous personal sacrifice. I am humbled every day by how much you give in service to the American people as you fulfill your oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Working alongside you is among the greatest privileges of my life.
Recent events, including the January 6th attacks on the U.S. Capitol, have highlighted that domestic violent extremism poses the most lethal and persistent terrorism-related threat to our country today. Addressing this threat is an urgent priority of the Biden-Harris Administration and of this Department. We will continue to work with our partners to immediately address it.
As we work to safeguard the Nation and our values, we must be vigilant in our efforts to identify and combat domestic violent extremism within both the broader community and our own organization. Violent extremism has no place at DHS and we will work with urgency and focus to address it.
Given the evolving threat landscape and the grave risks posed by domestic violent extremism, including to our employees and operations, I have directed the Department to immediately begin a review of how to best prevent, detect, and respond to domestic violent extremism threats within DHS. The team managing this internal effort, led by our Chief Security Officer, will report back to me with its recommendations.
In the coming days, DHS leadership will communicate additional information and guidance to you. This guidance will include information about Department and Component-specific policies and procedures laying out the requirements and mechanisms for reporting insider threats and other actions associated with domestic violent extremism. Separately, the Department will be issuing reminders about Department policies prohibiting discriminatory and harassing behavior.
Each of you brings great honor to DHS. We will not allow hateful acts or violent extremism to penetrate the fabric of our Department and fundamentally compromise our ability to protect the Homeland.
Thank you for all you do in service of our country.
Alejandro N. Mayorkas