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Former Homeland Security Official: Ohio Is 'Epicenter' Of Domestic Terrorism

The Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus on March 26, 2020.
Ryan Hitchcock
The Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus on March 26, 2020.

Miles Taylor, a former chief of staff with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, says home-grown terrorism groups are in Ohio and their prevalence is growing.

Taylor resigned from the Trump administration last year. But at an event last week, Taylor says his former agency is aware that domestic terrorist groups are operating here in the Buckeye State, like the one allegedly involved with plotting to kidnap and killMichigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“Ohio is definitely at the epicenter of this," Taylor said. "It’s important the administration focus on the problem. Unfortunately, we have a president who, rather than telling these terrorists that they are going to stand trial, is telling them to stand by."

During a recent debate, when asked to denounce white supremacist groups, President Trump told the Proud Boys to "stand down and stand by." The organization, which is considered by many to be a domestic terrorist group, then responded to those comments on social media. 

Trump has touted his endorsements from many law enforcement organizations throughout the U.S. during the past month. However, many Democrats have pointed at Trump's rhetoric as encouraging violence.

Taylor was in Ohio on October 21 to speak at Sinclair Community College as part of a forum hosted by Operation Grant, a group of Republicans who are campaigning on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

On Wednesday, the New York Times revealed that Taylor was the author behind the anonymous 2018 op-ed article declaring, "I am part of the resistance inside the Trump administration." Taylor, a lifelong Republican, also anonymously authored the 2019 book A Warning that criticized Trump's actions as president.

Copyright 2020 WOSU 89.7 NPR News

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.