AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) — At the Texas Capitol Friday, Governor Greg Abbott held the first meeting of his newly formed Domestic Terrorism Task Force.
Gov. Abbott said he and state leaders remain focused on preventing the next terror attack and mass shooting.
He said officials want to get ahead of the curve so they can find out more about various domestic terrorism groups in this state before they act.
The Task Force met for more than three hours Friday afternoon.
Members include Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Attorney General Ken Paxton and representatives from federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutors.
Abbott cited various examples of what he described as deadly terror attacks in Texas: the shooting rampage in El Paso earlier this month, the killing of five police officers in downtown Dallas more than three years ago and the Austin bomber.
He said some ideas discussed include improving reporting of suspicious activity by the public, improving information sharing among law enforcement in Texas and from social media companies, targeting cyber terrorists and also making it easier for state and local law enforcement to arrest domestic terrorists before they strike.
“We are already in the process of developing strategies that the Governor’s office can undertake, the agencies in the state of Texas can undertake, as well as we have identified multiple legislative solutions,” Abbott said.
The Texas Democratic Party issued a statement Friday that criticized the Governor’s task force.
Only two of the 15 members of the task force are people of color. The task force lacks a diversity of opinion, and comprises of essentially zero experts in dealing with white supremacist terrorism
Governor Abbott said the domestic terrorism task force will meet quarterly.
“This is going to be an ongoing process until we can ensure that we are undertaking every strategy possible to make sure we do everything we can to undermine and eradicate domestic terrorism in Texas,” he said.
Abbott will likely issue a report next month on his proposed short and long-term solutions to prevent terror and mass shootings.