John Carlin, the assistant attorney general for national security, announced Wednesday that the Justice Department is creating the new position of domestic terrorism counsel to combat the “real and present threat” of domestic extremism.

Carlin praised groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center “that dedicate themselves to examining what the threat is, observing it, and reporting on it,” adding that the work of the SPLC was “very important.”

The SPLC says it places groups — including conservative, Christian groups — on its “Hate List” based on their beliefs, not their propensity for violence.

“Homegrown violent extremists can be motivated by any viewpoint on the full spectrum of hate — anti-government views, racism, bigotry, anarchy and other despicable beliefs,” Carlin told a gathering at George Washington University. The discussion was co-hosted by SPLC. “When it comes to hate and intolerance, no single ideology governs.”

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