Where’s The Line Between A Hate Crime And Terrorism? | WBEZ
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Morning Shift

Where’s The Line Between A Hate Crime And Terrorism?

After shooting and killing nine black churchgoers in South Carolina in 2015, Dylann Roof faced multiple charges: murder, attempted murder, use of a firearm, and a hate crime. One thing he was not charged with? Terrorism. It sparked a debate about what it would take for an American — who had racist and political motivations — to be slapped with the charge.

Fast forward to present day: A Kansas man is in custody after shooting two men of Indian descent and killing one last week. He is charged with first-degree murder but he’s not charged with terrorism. That made us wonder: what exactly is the difference between a hate crime and domestic terrorism? Are they mutually exclusive? Are they investigated differently? Morning Shift talks to Ryan Lenz, senior writer for the Intelligence Project with Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit advocacy group that tracks hate groups, crimes, and extremism in America.

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