The Department of Homeland Security and partners have been working to strengthen critical lines of communication in confronting terrorist threats as “some of the information- sharing relationships the department had forged over the years had atrophied,” DHS Counterterrorism Coordinator John Cohen told lawmakers during a discussion on agencies surging resources and collaboratively moving forward with strategically confronting the domestic terrorism threat.

The Sept. 29 hearing was the sixth in a series of hearings that the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has been holding on white supremacist movements and activities. 

“While we certainly are facing a threat that has an organizational dynamic, it involves groups of individuals that coalesce around and even engage in violent and destructive behavior in furtherance of extremist or a blend of extremist beliefs. It’s important to remember that it’s also a threat that is very individualized in nature,” Cohen said. “It has been repeatedly assessed by DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, when looked at from a lethal perspective, the most significant terrorism-related threat facing the U.S. today comes primarily from lone offenders, individuals who engage in violent activity inspired by extremist beliefs, or a blend of extremist beliefs, or a blend of extremist beliefs and personal grievances that are most often cultivated through the consumption of online content.”

Read more: Homeland Security Today