FBI Director: No, I Wouldn’t Label Charleston Shooting ‘Terrorism’

James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation speaks during a press conference to announce law enforcement action against FIFA Officials in a 47-count indictment at the US. Attorney's Office in Brookl... James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation speaks during a press conference to announce law enforcement action against FIFA Officials in a 47-count indictment at the US. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn, NY, on May 27, 2015. Nine FIFA Officials and Five Corporate Executives charged with racketeering conspiracy, corruption and money laundering. (Photo by Anthony Behar) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field *** MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

FBI Director James Comey said Saturday during a press conference in Baltimore that he wouldn’t label the mass shootings in Charleston, S.C. as “terrorism,” television station KTUL reported.

Nine black people were killed last week at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic black church. Police arrested a white, 21-year-old named Dylann Roof, who apparently had white supremacist leanings, on suspicion of the killings.

Comey, in the conference broadcast by CNN, was asked whether he’d classify the Charleston shootings as an act of terrorism.

“I wouldn’t,” Comey said.

“Terrorism is an act of violence done or threatened to in order to try to influence a public body or the citizenry so it’s more of a political act and again based on what I know so more I don’t see it as a political act,” Comey said.

The FBI’s definition of terrorism is below:

The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.

CNN reported that Emily Pierce, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, said in a statement that the DOJ would be investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime or “act of domestic terrorism.”

“This heartbreaking episode was undoubtedly designed to strike fear and terror into this community and the department is looking at this crime from all angles including as a hate crime and as an act of domestic terrorism,” the statement read.

h/t Mediaite

Latest Livewire

Notable Replies

  1. Oh for fuck’s sake. Fire this asshole.

    You know goddamn well that if a single Muslim barged into a white church and killed nine people and it was discovered he’d been directly influenced by radical Islamist writings we’d be at Defcon 2 now.

    So, Mr. Comey: how many black Americans have to be murdered at one time by a white racist for you to designate it as “terrorism?” Ten? Twenty? A hundred? Would a thousand do it? Does a building have to be blown up? Does Detroit have to be dirty-bombed? Or would Atlanta be a better target? What exactly is your threshold?

  2. “Terrorism is an act of violence done or threatened to in order to try
    to influence a public body or the citizenry so it’s more of a political
    act and again based on what I know so more I don’t see it as a political
    act,” Comey said.

    Your own agencies definition of terrorism says otherwise. Even at the highest level we now seem to have two definitions of terrorism.

  3. Avatar for dnl dnl says:

    IOTIISWF

    It’s Only Terrorism If It Scares White Folks

  4. If you make a political judgment that labeling it terrorism would be counterproductive, that’s understandable, but for Christ’s sake, the kid was trying to start a race war. If that’s not violence with some sort of sociopolitical goal in mind then there’s no such thing as terrorism.

  5. Um, I’m not seeing Comey’s reasoning here. The act was clearly an act to intimidate and coerce a segment of the population to fear for their lives en masse – not just those nine individuals.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

91 more replies

Participants

Avatar for willpower Avatar for jw1 Avatar for sooner Avatar for gambler2 Avatar for mattinpa Avatar for artemisia Avatar for Valentinus Avatar for radicalcentrist Avatar for imkmu3 Avatar for bluestatedon Avatar for arrrrrj Avatar for thepsyker Avatar for mrcomments Avatar for mantan Avatar for frankly_my_dear Avatar for daveyjones64 Avatar for joelopines Avatar for 538liberal Avatar for tao Avatar for dnl Avatar for darrtown Avatar for beattycat Avatar for sjk Avatar for bplewis24

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: