DailySA: Justice Dept.’s new domestic terror task force – Forward Observer

DailySA: Justice Dept.’s new domestic terror task force

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Wednesday, 12 January 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

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TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Justice Dept.’s new domestic terror task force
  • North Korea test-fires more missiles
  • Extremism purge continues in DOD
  • Pentagon turns to 3-D printing amid parts shortages
  • Hazards Warning

UPGRADE TO EARLY WARNING AND GET THESE BRIEFINGS:

  • Russia-NATO SITREP: RUSSIAN LIVE-FIRE, TRAFFIC JAMS, LEAVING KAZAKHSTAN, SEPARATISTS MOBILIZE IN UKRAINE
  • Indo-Pacific SITREP: CHINA IN CHECKMATE POSITION ON TAIWAN
  • LIC Summary/ INTSUM

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

NEW DOMESTIC TERROR TASK FORCE: The Justice Department’s National Security Division is creating a new domestic terrorism task force to crackdown on nationwide coordination by suspected terrorist groups. Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said, “We have seen a growing threat from those who are motivated by racial animus, as well as those who ascribe to extremist anti-government and anti-authority ideologies.” The announcement follows three conviction announcements for harassment and threats against current and past politicians, journalists, and social activists. (Analyst Comment: There is no federal statute to address domestic terrorism, which is required to determine what constitutes “political violence.” An increased Justice Department focus on domestic activities under existing terrorism statutes is likely political in its motivation. Expect an increased presence and involvement by federal law enforcement in contentious local election events. Political activist groups who fear becoming federal targets could respond by closing membership and reducing public activities. This could spur some groups toward extremism if they feel unable to participate in protected advocacy efforts. – D.M.)

NORTH KOREA TEST-FIRES MISSILE:  North Korea fired another missile into the Sea of Japan on Tuesday, according to South Korean and Japanese military officials. Although North Korea claimed it deployed a hypersonic glide vehicle that successfully maneuvered to its target, the launch vehicle was believed to be a ballistic missile. This follows the launch of another missile last week that flew a lower than normal flight trajectory, possibly indicating a new type of Weapon. North Korea claimed that it test-fired its first-ever hypersonic weapon in that case. Analysts believe North Korea is still years away from a credible hypersonic capability. (AC: North Korea is likely continuing to test various types of missiles as part of its development of a long-range fires capability. The tests come following a speech by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who promised to bolster his military capabilities in the face of western sanctions over his nuclear weapons development program. – M.M.)

DOD EXTREMISM SCREENING INVESTIGATION: The Department of Defense’s (DOD) Office of Inspector General is investigating how the recruitment process is filtering out applicants that could be extremists. The investigation is among a larger effort to identify what it calls “supremacist, extremist, and criminal gang behavior” after Jan 6, 2021. Secretary Austin has made multiple efforts already toward targeting extremism with new guidance against advocating to overthrow the government, raising money for extremist groups, and liking or reposting extremist content online. (AC: With up to 80 defendants charged in connection with the January 6 riots and many of them being veterans, military personnel will continue to get scrutiny as the nation becomes more divisive and internal order breaks down. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to release concerns about upticks in chatter surrounding extremist activity. The DHS has stated it has limited examples of specific threats; however, government leaders and the media continue to cite these concerns. Crackdowns on perceived extremist behavior will continue ahead of the elections. – D.F.)

3D PRINTING TO FILL SUPPLY GAPS: Additive manufacturing processes are being used to fill certain gaps in supply chain vulnerabilities for public and private sectors. The Department of Defense (DOD) has been looking at use cases for additive manufacturing tools, such as 3D printing, for items in short supply that are critical for continued operation. The DOD is dependent on the same supply chain as the public, and shortages on a few critical high fail items can significantly impact readiness. (AC: Additive Manufacturing is an effective method for prototyping a new design or recreating existing items. The process can be difficult to scale for large-part production, as specialized tooling is often required. Additionally, intellectual property (IP) rights add hurdles for companies and government agencies that do not own it, unlike industries in China where IP theft of foreign property is allowed. Those not limited by these restrictions could use these methods to mitigate vulnerabilities found in supply chain disruptions. – D.F.)

HAZARDS/WX

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