The Trump administration is reportedly planning to end a grant program under the Department of Homeland Security that provides grants to organizations that fight domestic terrorism.
NBC News reports that recipients of the Countering Violent Extremism Grant program have been informed that previous grants, which were intended to be part of yearly funding for the organizations, were instead a “one-time” funding grant.
In addition, all references to future funding opportunities or announcements have been scrubbed from the DHS Office of Terrorism Prevention Partnerships’s website, NBC reports.
A spokesman for DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on NBC’s report.
The Countering Violent Extremism Grant was established in 2016 during the Obama administration, and has given $10 million annually to distribute to organizations devoted to combating hate groups around the country.
The Trump administration’s reported decision to end funding for the grants comes just days after a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh killed 11 people after a gunman stormed the building allegedly yelling anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Last week, Cesar Sayoc was arrested for attempting to mail pipe bombs to top Democratic politicians including the Obamas, the Clintons, and others including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). Court filings from federal prosecutors said he committed a “domestic terrorist attack.”
A spokeswoman for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks domestic extremism, told NBC News that the Trump administration needed to do more to ensure proper resources were spent on stopping home-grown terrorism.
“Our position is that they need to make sure that enough resources are going to the threat whether it is Islamic extremism or white supremacy,” said Heidi Beirich, who leads the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, according to NBC. “There’s an incident every month to a month and a half.”
BY JOHN BOWDEN – 11/01/18