Domestic Violent Extremist (DVE) Explained

DVE is now a priority for the Department of Homeland Security.

As I shared earlier in a previous blog post, FFY2021 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a new emphasis on Domestic Violent Extremists (DVE). 7.5 percent of the funding in the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) has to be allocated to DVE purposes. 

Since DVE might be a relatively new term for emergency managers, I thought it would be good to give you two resources. The first is this official DHS National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin from January. 

Then today I listened to this podcast: "The Threat Of Domestic Terroris‪m‬
." What I found of interest was the explanation of the differences between groups like the Proud Boys, Boogaloo Boys, and militias. The description of the podcast is: "Elizabeth Neumann resigned from the Department of Homeland Security in April of 2020. She says the Trump administration ignored the threat — and fanned the flames — of violent domestic extremism. She's now co-director of the Republican Accountability Project, which pushes back on conspiracy theories and false claims that the election was stolen and is trying to hold accountable elected leaders who have supported those narratives."

I think one of the things she points out at the end of the recording is that there were "unaffiliated" individuals who participated in the Jan. 6 riot at the capitol. The near-term danger is that these people are ripe for recruitment into a more nefarious group — without the recruit understanding the background and full intent of the organization doing the recruitment. She uses the example of militias as one type of group that on the surface may seem totally service and patriotic oriented, while not understanding their being committed to overthrowing the government. 

For those who read or no longer read my blog who think I've gone "political" in my thinking, note that Elizabeth Neumann was a Republican appointee at DHS under two Republican administrations, not some Democratic plant within the organization. Personally, I'm drawn to people who serve the nation first over a political party. 

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.