AUSTIN (KXAN) — Governor Greg Abbott announced a new Domestic Terrorism Task Force Wednesday to combat acts of extremism in the Lone Star State, about two weeks after the El Paso shooting.
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The task force will consist of experts trained to analyze and provide strategies to Texas law enforcement agencies so they can maximize their efforts to protect against acts of domestic terrorism, the press release states.
“Our top priority is to keep Texans safe in their communities. Part of that mission is to combat domestic terrorism and root out the extremist ideologies that fuel hatred and violence in our state,” Abbott said. “This task force brings together leaders with the expertise Texas needs to develop effective strategies and combat domestic terrorism. Texas is stronger when we come together in pursuit of a shared goal, and today’s actions are vital steps in our ongoing fight against extremism and violence.”
The main goals of the task force will be analyzing current and emerging threats in the state, as well as finding ways to increase inter-agency cooperation. The group aims to develop tools, policies and protocol to assist in fighting domestic terrorism. Finally, they will provide advice and recommendations on homeland security strategic planning to the Governor and the Legislature.
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Abbott has also directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to take increased actions to combat domestic terrorism. They have been asked to conduct state assessments on domestic terrorism in Texas as well as create domestic terrorism teams to directly support the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The task force’s first roundtable meeting with Gov. Abbott will take place Friday, August 30. The group will then meet quarterly.