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Biden admin announces initiative to assess and combat ‘domestic violent extremism’

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The administration of President Joe Biden has announced a three-pronged initiative in order to assess and combat “domestic violent extremism” (DVE) over two weeks after the storming of the U.S. Capitol by extremists that resulted in 5 deaths.

At a Friday press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki unveiled the initiative, describing the first steps the administration is taking to counter DVE.

Psaki said that the deadly January 6 Capitol riot and the destruction it caused has revealed that the “rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat.”

MORE ON CAPITOL RIOT: Prosecutors: ‘strong evidence’ shows Capitol rioters sought to ‘capture and assassinate’ officials

The Biden administration “is committed to developing policies and strategies based on facts, on objective and rigorous analysis, and on our respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities,” she added.

The first of the three broad areas the initial work on DVE will fall under is a tasking that Psaki said Biden sent earlier on Friday to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence “requesting a comprehensive threat assessment coordinated with the FBI and [Department of Homeland Security]” on DVE.

“This assessment,” Psaki continued, “will draw on the analysis from across the government and, as appropriate, nongovernmental organizations.”

She went on to explain that the administration wants “fact-based analysis” in order to help “shape policy.”

The second area will be “the building of an [National Security Council (NSC)] capability to focus on countering” DVE, Psaki said. “As a part of this, the NSC will undertake a policy review effort to determine how the government can share information better about this threat, support efforts to prevent radicalization, disrupt violent extremist networks, and more.”

While she said that there’s already important work already happening in combatting DVE, the press secretary emphasized that the government needs to “understand better [DVE’s] current extent and where there may be gaps to address, so that we can determine the best path forward.”

Lastly, the third area will be “coordinating relevant parts of the federal government to enhance and accelerate efforts to address DVE,” Psaki stated.

Furthermore, the NSC will help “focus on addressing evolving threats, radicalization, the role of social media; opportunities to improve information sharing, operational responses, and more,” she added.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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50-Foot Christmas Tree Outside Fox News Set on Fire by 49yr Old Homeless Man

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Fox News Xmas Tree

Just before 12:15 am Wednesday morning, an arsonist set fire to the 50-foot tree in front of Fox News’ Midtown headquarters on 6th avenue. The suspect, a 49-year-old with three prior arrests, was quickly caught and taken into custody.

The man has two previous arrests for drug possession and one for public intoxication. The motive is unclear, and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said detectives are looking into whether mental illness was a factor.

Christmas Tree

The suspect accused of setting the News Corp. Christmas tree on fire is taken into custody by the NYPD.

“The suspect is identified as 49-year-old Craig Tamanaha, who is homeless, with a last known address in Brooklyn” reports ABC 7 New York. Police said the suspect climbed up “the metal superstructure” underneath the artificial tree and lit papers he had brought with him on fire, then shoved the papers into the tree structure.

He then climbed down and watched from the street level as it burned, and he was spotted by building security who pointed the man out to police officers posted in nearby Rockefeller Center,” reports ABC.

A lighter was found in his possession, and he has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, endangering others, criminal trespass, criminal tampering and disorderly conduct.

Fox says it will rebuild the tree, which took more than 21 hours to assemble and consisted of 10,000 glass ornaments and 100,000 lights.

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