Domestic Terrorism in the Digital Age, PRP 220

Pope, J. Paul
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LBJ School of Public Affairs

This report first summarizes the nature and scope of the domestic terrorism threat, including recent trends, the susceptibility of the United States, and the role of social media in the dramatic increase in extremism and extremist violence. In Part One, we summarize the problem: the threat of domestic terrorism is increasing in the U.S. due, in part, to the country’s unique cultural susceptibility to the drivers of increased extremism and the particular role of social media and partisan politics. Part Two of the report examines the current policy landscape, options, and debates nationally, within Texas, and within the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). We analyze trends in domestic terrorism legislation, initiatives, and responses, and outline current policy initiatives at each level. Finally, in Part Three we recommend a comprehensive course of action specifically tailored for DPS to better tackle the increased threat of extremism and domestic terrorism.