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Hochul announces issuance of guidance to support counties' development of domestic terrorism prevention plans


Tue, Aug 9th 2022 12:55 pm

In wake of Buffalo attack, governor issued executive order 18 requiring each county & city of New York to develop plans to confront domestic terrorism, including racially & ethnically motivated violence

√ Summit focused on development of local threat assessment and management teams

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the issuance of new guidance for counties throughout New York to support the development of domestic terrorism prevention plans, which each county and the City of New York are responsible for developing under executive order 18. The governor discussed the importance of devising domestic terrorism prevention plans during virtual remarks as part of a two-day threat assessment and management summit hosted by the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, and its Office of Counter Terrorism at the State Emergency Preparedness Center in Oriskany.

"In the wake of the horrific domestic terror attack in my hometown of Buffalo, I committed to New Yorkers that we will confront the scourge of domestic terror head-on," Hochul said. "New York is providing local governments with the tools they need to address the threat of domestic terror and targeted violence, so we can prevent tragedies before they even occur. I will never stop fighting to keep New Yorkers safe."

DHSES is encouraging localities to develop threat assessment and management (TAM) teams as part of their domestic terrorism prevention plans. To assist in creating and operating threat assessment management teams, $10 million will be made available to counties. Such teams shall be comprised of law enforcement, mental health professionals, school officials, and other key stakeholders tasked with identifying, assessing and mitigating the threat of targeted violence.

The governor’s team said, “Executive order 18 was issued by Hochul in direct response to the white supremacist act of terror at a Buffalo supermarket in May. The executive order is specifically designed to fight the troubling surge in domestic terrorism and violent extremism frequently inspired by, planned on and posted about on social media platforms and internet forums.”

In part, the executive order calls upon:

√ DHSES to establish a new unit within its Office of Counter Terrorism dedicated to the prevention of domestic terrorism.

√ Every county and the City of New York to develop and maintain a plan to address the threat of domestic terrorism, including racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.

√ New York State Police to establish a new unit within the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC) dedicated to tracking domestic violent extremism and increase social media monitoring for investigative leads that may come from the online promotion of violent extremism.

During the two-day summit, state counterterrorism experts are reviewing the newly issued guidance on domestic terrorism prevention plans and state grant funding opportunities, at both the state and federal level, to advance county domestic terrorism planning and TAM team creation efforts. A consultant with expertise in behavioral threat assessment will also provide training on TAM team development.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "Domestic terrorism fueled by white supremacy and bigotry is the No. 1 terrorism threat we currently face. Our team in the Office of Counter Terrorism is working around the clock to ensure counties across New York have everything they need to meet the challenge in front of us. Thanks to Gov. Hochul's leadership, together we are working with our partners to make New York a safer place for everyone."

Hochul’s team said, “The recent spike in domestic terror attacks represents one of the most pressing threats to public safety across the United States. In the last decade, domestic terror attacks and plots have tripled nationally. In 2021, there were 73 terrorist attacks and unearthed plots in the United States, including 38 white supremacist and similarly like-minded terrorist attacks and plots.

“The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination and support to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies.”

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