The US car-attack in Charlottesville 'fits definition' of domestic terrorism, Sessions says

Agence France-Presse
Flowers and a photo of car-ramming victim Heather Heyer lie at a makeshift memorial in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Flowers and a photo of car-ramming victim Heather Heyer lie at a makeshift memorial in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Justin Ide/Reuters

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday the incident of a driver ramming a car into a crowd of demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, fits the definition of domestic terrorism.

A woman was killed and 19 people were injured when the car plowed into a crowd of people Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, after a violent rally by neo-Nazis and white supremacists protesting the removal of a Confederate statue.

The vehicle attack "does meet the definition of domestic terrorism in our statute," Sessions said in an interview on ABC's Good Morning America program.

"We are pursuing it in the Department of Justice in every way that we can make a case."

"You can be sure we will charge and advance the investigation towards the most serious charges that can be brought because this is unequivocally an unacceptable, evil attack," he told ABC.

The FBI and federal prosecutors have opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, which took place soon after police dispersed a white nationalist rally that erupted into violent clashes with counter-protesters.

The alleged driver, a 20-year-old Ohio man who was said to have had a history of neo-Nazi beliefs, was arrested and faces charges of second-degree murder in the incident.

Of the 19 people injured, 10 remained hospitalized in good condition and nine had been released, the University of Virginia Health System said.