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After Canada's Proud Boys decision, U.S. lawmakers debate response to Capitol riots

Last Updated Feb 4, 2021 at 11:05 am MDT

FILE -- Supporters of President Donald Trump who are wearing attire associated with the Proud Boys attend a rally at Freedom Plaza, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers in the United States are hearing chilling warnings about the growing threat of domestic extremism after last month’s riots on Capitol Hill.

Counterterrorism expert Elizabeth Neumann tells the House committee on homeland security there’s a “high likelihood” of homegrown violence in the coming months.

Members of the committee are debating how to respond, including whether or not certain U.S.-based groups should be designated as terrorist organizations.

Neumann says under current U.S. law, it is easier for authorities to prosecute international terrorists than it is domestic ones.

Canada added the white-supremacist Proud Boys and three other right-wing groups to its list of terrorist entities this week.

That designation makes it easier for Canadian law enforcement to seize assets and seek stiffer penalties against those linked to such organizations.

Neumann says the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol marked the end of the post-9/11 era and launched a new, dangerous period when domestic extremists pose a grave threat to American safety and security.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press