Domestic terror in the US is ‘more dangerous’ now than after the Oklahoma City bombing, Biden AG nominee says

merrick garland hearing
Attorney general nominee Merrick Garland.

  • Judge Merrick Garland, Joe Biden’s attorney general nominee, began his confirmation hearing Monday.
  • Garland said domestic terrorism is “more dangerous” than its previous peak in the 1990s.
  • The January 6 insurrection made the climate worse than the deadly OKC bombing, Garland said.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

President Joe Biden’s nominee for attorney general sounded the alarm Monday on the domestic terrorism threat facing the United States.

“I certainly agree that we are facing a more dangerous period than we did in Oklahoma City at that time,” Judge Merrick Garland, the nominee, told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The 1996 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal office building killed 168 people, including children. An investigation found that the bombing’s conspirators were radicalized by white nationalist propaganda in the aftermath of the deadly FBI raids at Waco and Ruby Ridge in the early ’90s.

Garland was a principal associate deputy attorney general at the time, and led the Department of Justice’s prosecution of the bomber.

Garland attributed today’s heightened threat to the January 6 Capitol siege.

The judge said the Capitol insurrection is “not necessarily a one-off,” and that the forces behind it stretch far back into American history.

“There is a line from Oklahoma City and another … to the original battles of the Justice Department against the Ku Klux Klan,” Garland said.

If confirmed, Garland said he is committed to pursuing the ongoing investigations against the insurrectionists and getting the Department of Justice the resources necessary for the broader inquiry into the riots.

“If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6, a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy,” Garland said.

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