US homeland security chief: Racism is fueling some terrorism

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Homeland Security head says white supremacist ideology is fueling some domestic terrorism.

Kevin McAleenan, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. he is Trump's acting Homeland Security chief, Photo Date: March 6, 2019 (Source: Jaime Rodriguez Sr. / U.S. CBP)

Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan appeared Tuesday in Jackson, Mississippi, for a forum about preventing violence against religious groups.

He said the recent mass shooting that killed 22 people in El Paso was inspired by "violent white supremacist ideology" that "offends us all."

Others at the forum described the threat in similar terms. Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee. She called racism a "national security threat."

Critics of President Donald Trump contend his language has stoked racial and ethnic divisions.

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi did not name names but said "the racist, xenophobic language that we hear coming from high places" empowers people "to do crazy things."

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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