USDOJ IG Report on Homegrown Violent Extremists

Little noticed in a tumultuous week, USDoJ’s Inspector General released a redacted report Wednesday titled, Audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Efforts to Identify Homegrown Violent Extremists through Counterterrorism Assessments.

(U) Results in Brief
(U) HVEs are the highest priority for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division (CTD) because the FBI believes HVEs currently present the greatest terrorist threat to the United States. Since September 11, 2001, HVEs have carried out over 20 attacks in the United States, some of which occurred after the FBI closed a counterterrorism investigation or assessment on the individual. Following these attacks, the FBI conducted reviews and determined there were weaknesses in its HVE assessment processes. However, we found that the FBI has not taken sufficient action to address these weaknesses. Additionally, in 2017, the FBI conducted an enterprise-wide review and identified potential terrorist threats that may not have been adequately assessed during calendar years (CY) 2014 through 2016, which amounted to 6 percent of the total assessments reviewed. We found that the FBI did not take adequate action on nearly 40 percent of these assessments for 18 months. After we inquired about the lack of action, the FBI reexamined these assessments and, in some instances, the reexamination resulted in the opening of an investigation. We further found that the FBI has experienced a substantial influx of reports of suspicious incidents, but has not developed comprehensive strategies for addressing the challenges associated with the potential cross-over between terrorist threats and other categories of threats, for example, those posed by individuals with mental health issues and criminal threats to life.

The U’s in parentheses mean the paragraph is unclassified. The original report was classified Secret/Noforn, but of course the classified portions have the parts that make them secret blacked out in the released version.