Hate groups and militias rarely labeled as 'domestic terrorist' groups

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The federal government rarely labels hate groups, extremist organizations or militias as domestic terrorist groups. This despite the fact that these groups are responsible for more deadly crimes in the U.S. than Islamic extremists.

A recent Congressional Research Service report lists factors that make it difficult for law enforcement to label these groups as terrorist organizations and states that “the federal government does not generate an official and public list of domestic terrorist organizations or individuals.”

“There are no designated domestic terrorism statutes,” said Carlos Galindo-Elvira, who is the Arizona regional director of the Anti Defamation League.

He says there is a downside to not labeling these groups as terrorist organizations.

“There certainly is a downside in terms of recognizing that murders and other crimes are being committed by white nationalists and white supremacists,” said Galindo-Elvira.

Last month, the Department of Justice released a report that states three of four people convicted of international terrorism and terrorism-related offenses in the United States were foreign born.

But critics of the way the groups are labeled argue that the government is overlooking lots of incidents that could qualify as terrorist attacks.

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Morgan  LoewMorgan Loew is an investigative reporter at CBS 5 News. His career has taken him to every corner of the state, lots of corners in the United States, and some far-flung corners of the globe.

Click to learn more about Morgan .

Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

Morgan’s past assignments include covering the invasion of Iraq, human smuggling in Mexico, vigilantes on the border and Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County. His reports have appeared or been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Morgan’s peers have recognized his work with 11 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting, an SPJ First Amendment Award, and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. In October 2016, Morgan was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle in recognition of 25 years of contribution to the television industry in Arizona.

Morgan is graduate of the University of Arizona journalism school and Concord Law School at Purdue University Global. He is the president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and teaches media law and TV news reporting at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he’s not out looking for the next big news story, Morgan enjoys hiking, camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats and spending time with his family at their southern Arizona ranch.

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