Lubbock County DA Appointed To Domestic Terrorism Task Force
Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday announced the formation of a Domestic Terrorism Task Force in Texas. The announcement comes in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in El Paso that claimed 22 lives.
Lubbock County District Attorney Sunshine Stanek was appointed to the 18-member task force. The goal of the task force according to a press release from the Governor, is to come up with strategies to combat and prevent acts of domestic terror. The task force will analyze and provide advice to law enforcement.
The task force will begin to meet this month on August 30th. The task force has members from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and other officials across Texas.
The task force will meet quarterly, or at the call of the Governor, and will consist of the following members:
- Governor Greg Abbott
- Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick
- Attorney General Ken Paxton
- Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen
- Colonel Steve McCraw, Department of Public Safety
- Chief W. Nim Kidd, Texas Division of Emergency Management
- Major General Tracy Norris, Texas Military Department
- Executive Director Amanda Crawford, Texas Department of Information Resources
- Executive Director Carter Smith, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
- Members of the United States Customs and Border Patrol
- Members of the United States Secret Service
- John Bash, United States Attorney -- Western District of Texas
- Jeff Murray, Department of Homeland Security
- Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
- K. Sunshine Stanek, District Attorney for Lubbock County
- Greg Allen, El Paso Police Chief
- Sheriff Eddie Guerra, Hidalgo County
- Captain Anthony Carter, Collin County Sheriff's Office, North Texas Fusion Center
Specific objectives of the task force will include:
- Analyzing current and emerging threats in Texas, and developing strategies that government entities can take to prevent and respond to such threats.
- Studying ways to increase interagency cooperation and collaboration between local, state, and federal agencies.
- Developing model tools, policies, and protocols to assist in fighting domestic terrorism.
- Providing advice and recommendations regarding state homeland security strategic planning, and relevant legislative recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature.
The Governor also announced additional steps being taken to combat domestic terrorism in Texas.
Additionally, the Governor today directed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to take immediate action to combat any form of domestic terrorism in Texas including:
- Conducting a state intelligence assessment on the domestic terrorism threat in Texas.
- Establishing a Domestic Terrorism Section within the Texas Fusion Center to proactively seek, assess and monitor domestic terrorism and other mass casualty threats.
- Coordinating with the designated regional fusion centers in Texas to increase the detection and monitoring of domestic terrorism and other mass casualty threats.
- Establishing Domestic Terrorism Teams comprised of DPS Special Agents to provide immediate direct support to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF), and increase the number of Special Agents assigned to the JTTFs to conduct domestic counterterrorism investigations.
- Increasing the number of DPS Special Agents and Analysts in the Texas Anti-Gang Centers conducting investigations on criminal gangs affiliated with Neo Nazi and White Nationalist groups and networks espousing terrorist attacks.
“Our top priority is to keep Texans safe in their communities,” said Governor Abbott. “Part of that mission is to combat domestic terrorism and root out the extremist ideologies that fuel hatred and violence in our state. 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. We stand united against those who wish to bring harm to our state, and together we will build a safer future for every Texan.”
In the days after the El Paso attack, Governor Abbott pledge to hold more round-table discussions on violence.