Mar 19, 2018

House Dems say Austin bombings must be labeled terrorism

Police tape marks off the neighborhood where a package bomb went off on March 19, 2018 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Drew Anthony Smith / Getty Images

Democrats on the Homeland Security Committee released a statement Monday saying the four bombings that have killed two and injured others in Austin, Texas “must be classified as ongoing terrorist attacks and should be investigated as such.”

“For too long we have focused only on certain sources of terrorism and violence while ignoring others.”

What's next: The three Democrats, Reps. Bennie Thompson, Cedric Richmond, and Sheila Jackson Lee, are demanding to know whether the attacks are ideologically or racially motivated and called on the FBI to brief Congress before Thursday on the matter.

Police have said they're so far unable to determine whether the serial bombings are domestic terrorism. As Politifact points out, the definition of terrorism in the U.S. is not clear-cut across government agencies.

  • A few cases where the terrorism designation hasn't stuck: Dylann Roof in Charleston, James Alex Fields in Charleston, and Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City.

The FBI declined to comment.

Go deeper

Repatriated American citizens have doubled coronavirus cases in U.S.

Face mask discarded outside the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

The official number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. just doubled — to 34 — but public health officials are pointing out that these are mostly people who've been repatriated.

Why it matters: As concerns grow about a global pandemic, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to make sure the message gets out: "We are not seeing community spread here in the United States," Nancy Messonnier says.

Bernie opens up massive lead among college students

Data: College Reaction; Note: ±3.4 margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

In the last two months, Bernie Sanders has surged 20 points among college students to become the group's clear 2020 favorite, according to a new College Reaction/Axios poll.

Why it matters: The numbers reflect the extent to which young Democratic voters are embracing socialism and rejecting moderate choices.

Situational awareness

Photos: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

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  4. Bernie Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone
  6. Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars