The Department of Homeland Security finds itself suddenly forced to catch up on combating domestic terrorism after focusing most of its efforts on border security under the Trump administration.
An unnamed current DHS official told the Daily Beast on Tuesday that the department is “scrambling” to deal with domestic terrorism following the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
“These two shootings have caused a mad scramble where they are pulling every publication and book off the shelf in an attempt to figure out what they can do to address this problem,” a former DHS official told the Daily Beast.
Former DHS deputy Counterterrorism Coordinator John Cohen said the struggle is a “direct result” of “no serious planning efforts by the department” to fight domestic terrorism.
“That’s due in large part because of the insistence by the White House that the department first and foremost focus on immigration and border security,” he said.
Under President Donald Trump, who’s fixated on immigration and Islamic terrorism, the department’s seen major cuts in resources for addressing domestic terrorism.
The White House was pushing the DHS to direct most of its resources to border security while at the same time rejecting the department’s requests to prioritize domestic terror threats, including violent white nationalism.
DHS acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan told NBC News Chuck Todd that domestic terrorism is “absolutely” a bigger threat than international terrorism on Sunday.