U.S. Attorney responds to statement from U.S. Department of Justice

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – U.S. Attorney John W. Huber’s also issued a statement following a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice on Sunday.

“to identify criminal organizers and instigators, and to coordinate federal resources with our state and local partners, federal law enforcement is using our existing network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF),” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber.

In Huber’s statements he said:

“The Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) model is exactly the right tool as we investigate potential violations of federal law during the riots in Salt Lake City this weekend, or any similar uprisings in the future.

“The JTTF brings together highly trained investigators from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. These are already strong relationships in Utah, with a proven track record. It makes sense to take advantage of these relationships and this expertise already in place.

“We recognize and support the rights we all enjoy to peacefully demonstrate, protest, and advocate for our beliefs. These are some of the most important rights we have as Americans. However, we have zero tolerance for those who hijack peaceful protests to violate federal law. In particular, our eyes are on those who use fire and arson to destroy property and any who may have traveled to Utah from out of state to riot in Salt Lake City. We will hold accountable those who violate federal law.”

He also pointed out that there is a regional JTTF in Salt Lake City.

In the press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General William P. Barr’s said the following:

“With the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful and legitimate protests have been hijacked by violent radical elements.  Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent, and extremist agenda.

It is time to stop watching the violence and to confront and stop it.  The continued violence and destruction of property endangers the lives and livelihoods of others, and interferes with the rights of peaceful protestors, as well as all other citizens. 

It also undercuts the urgent work that needs to be done – through constructive engagement between affected communities and law enforcement leaders – to address legitimate grievances.  Preventing reconciliation and driving us apart is the goal of these radical groups, and we cannot let them succeed. 

It is the responsibility of state and local leaders to ensure that adequate law enforcement resources, including the National Guard where necessary, are deployed on the streets to reestablish law and order.  We saw this finally happen in Minneapolis last night, and it worked. 

Federal law enforcement actions will be directed at apprehending and charging the violent radical agitators who have hijacked peaceful protest and are engaged in violations of federal law.

To identify criminal organizers and instigators, and to coordinate federal resources with our state and local partners, federal law enforcement is using our existing network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF). 

The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”

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