WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Nineteen years after the 9/11 attacks, some in Congress say domestic terrorists, not those from other countries, pose a bigger threat to the United States.
Lawmakers are now focusing on the dangers from white supremacists.
Almost 20 years after 9/11, Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said he now worries more about threats born at home than ones from overseas.
“But we’ve seen the terrorism in this country is much more from white supremacists,” Brown said.
Brown points to incidents like what happened in Charlottesville and the Wal-Mart shooting in El Paso, where 23 people were shot and killed in what authorities said was a hate crime.
“It’s really risen significantly and there seems to be not much response from the president,” he said.
According to a report this week by Politico, the Department of Homeland Security recently identified white supremacy as the “gravest terror threat to the United States.”
“Absolutely not,” said Republican Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL). “I mean, it is a threat that we have to be focused on and concerned about, but it is more of a peripheral threat.”
Rogers said the greatest terror threat remains from overseas.
“We still have to be concerned about the fundamentalist, Islamic fundamentalists who hate us,” he said.
At a 9/11 memorial ceremony Friday, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper focused on those efforts abroad.
“Whether denying safe havens to terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States military continues to defend our homeland,” Esper said.
Both Brown and Rogers agree the country is safer today than it was before Sept. 11, 2001.
And Rogers said many terrorists threats have been stopped.
“Most of them, you’ll never know about, otherwise giving up our sources,” he said.