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FBI agents carrying a drone inn Boulder, Colorado, on March 25. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

The FBI Agents Association, which represents more than 14,000 active and former special agents, lauded the Biden administration's new national strategy for countering domestic terrorism but said the act should be made a federal crime.

Why it matters: No federal criminal offense exists for domestic terrorism, even though it is defined under federal law, and policy makers have for years deliberated whether to create a specific penalty for committing the act.

Context: The Jan. 6 Capitol riot reignited debates over whether there should be an enforceable penalty for domestic terrorism.

  • Congress deliberated on creating a new statute for domestic terrorism in response to the riot, but many members disagreed, arguing it would be redundant or could be used to crackdown on constitutional acts of political dissent, according to USA Today.

Driving the news: The Biden administration laid out its strategy for tackling domestic terrorism on Tuesday, calling it "the most urgent terrorism threat the United States faces today."

  • It proposed tracking nationwide incidents more closely, cracking down recruitment and mobilization efforts, additional resources for the Department of Justice, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security and confronting long-term contributors to domestic terrorism as methods to curb the threat.
  • However, the strategy does not call for an enforceable domestic terrorism statute.

What they're saying: "The FBI Agents Association welcomes today's release of the first-ever National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism," the association said in a statement Tuesday.

  • "As the plan points out, 'domestic terrorism' is defined by federal law. Despite this definition, domestic terrorism is not a federal crime with a penalty. Penalties are required for the definition to be an effective deterrent for would-be perpetrators and an effective tool for law enforcement," it added.
  • "Making domestic terrorism a federal crime would not result in the targeting of specific ideas or groups. Rather, it would target acts of violence that have no place in the political discourse secured by our Constitution and Bill of Rights."

Go deeper: Garland asks Congress for $85 million in extra funding to fight domestic terrorism

Go deeper

Updated Sep 11, 2021 - World

World leaders offer 9/11 remembrances on 20th anniversary

Queen Elizabeth II. Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

World leaders — from Queen Elizabeth II to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — paid tribute on Saturday to those lost in the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago.

Why it matters: World leaders honored the almost 3,000 victims lost as well as the bravery and resilience of first responders with ceremonies, tributes and messages.

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.