Frank Figliuzzi, the former FBI official that helped lead the counter-intelligence office, warned that one of the local law enforcement dealing with the new domestic terrorism threats against lawmakers and local officials are woefully ill-equipped to handle it. It isn’t the first time that he has warned that the country isn’t handling domestic terrorism as it should be.
Tuesday he echoed previous sentiments that there isn’t currently a domestic terrorism statute on the books.
“This is domestic terrorism. What happened in New Mexico is domestic terrorism. And we still, Nicolle, you know what I’m going to say, to this day don’t have a federal domestic terrorism law. This guy is the poster child for why we need a federal domestic terrorism law. This is politically based violence,” he explained. “For those who say, wait a minute, we successfully have gone after Oath Keepers leaders and charged Proud Boys leaders with seditious conspiracy, what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with that is those laws don’t match what happened in New Mexico. What this guy did was politically motivated terrorism, but it wasn’t against the U.S. federal government. So this is an example of why we need a domestic terrorism statute.”
MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace walked through the list of MAGA-led violence over the course of the past several years and Figliuzzi explained that all of them are linked.
“All of them instigated and the logical outcome of five years or more of demonizing the other, of making it okay if you don’t like what happened politically,” he continued. “If the election didn’t come out your way, it’s okay to storm the Capitol. It’s okay to challenge until every judge in your state has said there’s no challenge to be had. It’s okay for Kari Lake in Arizona to still to this day claim that she won and it’s rigged. And it’s all been generated largely by one individual, who really has to be the one to come out and say I condemn this kind of violence. I don’t stand for this anymore.”
He admitted, of course, that it’s never going to happen, however. The “one person,” he referred to is former President Donald Trump, who has continued to embolden supporters to act violently when they oppose something.
“Quite the opposite will happen here,” said Figliuzzi. “He feeds on this. It strengthens him. He continues to dupe people literally into losing their freedom or even their life at the hands of law enforcement because they’re acting out violently because of some proverbial chip that’s been implanted in their head that says violence is okay because those people over there are evil. They have been demonized. And that’s what happened. You know, as the police interrogate this individual in New Mexico, he’s likely to swear up and down that it’s all rigged. The system is rigged against him, and, therefore, it’s justified to do what he did.”
Wallace asked if there was anyone who would be immune from this kind of political violence and Figliuzzi said that it’s happening everywhere. Militia groups have grown around liberal Portland, Oregon. In Georgia, Republicans have been under attack by the MAGA supporters. In Arizona, the former Republican House Speaker was targeted because he wouldn’t overthrow the election for Trump.
“And from a law enforcement perspective, it creates a real challenge,” he explained. “Essentially what has to happen is local and state law enforcement have to monitor — and by the way they’re not equipped to do it — elections to see, okay, this guy who lost, has he lost his mind? They have to almost provide defensive briefings to county and state election officials saying if someone comes to your home and complains about the rigged election, we need to know about that because we need to monitor the possibility of a violent threat. This changes the dynamic for local and state law enforcement.”
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Law enforcement isn’t equipped to handle political terrorism