Under Trump, the anti-terrorism efforts of the FBI have not just been underused — they’ve been misdirected entirely. When Trump talks about the FBI as though he’s at odds with the nation’s top law enforcement agency, it’s only in reference to his own legal and ethical troubles. But he’s still their boss and can direct them to do other things as well.
That’s why it was especially disturbing to read a report from Ken Klippenstein of TYT that detailed just how off the rails Trump’s counterterror priorities have gone.
According to a leaked copy of the “Consolidated Strategy Guide” for fiscal years 2018–2020, the FBI has moved to the top of their priority list “Black Identity Extremists,” “anti-authority extremists,” and “animal rights/environmental extremists.” The guide also references a vague program that sounds like something straight out of a Jason Bourne movie called “IRON FIST” that is tailored specifically against the perceived threat of these “black identity extremists.”
To be fair, that’s not the specific term they use — anymore. When the FBI was found using the term “black identity extremists” in 2017, the backlash was so immediate and intense that the Bureau swore they would use a term that was less racially specific. So they replaced it entirely with “Racially Motivated Extremism,” which, of course, includes both white and black-identifying groups.
Curiously, there are no examples in the Strategy Guide of acts committed by black racially motivated extremists, while the Guide lists numerous examples of white racially motivated extremism. But that only gets us through 2019. The 2020 Guide has now evolved it into Racially Motivated Violent Extremists, and guess what the description sounds like? It sounds a lot like “black identity extremists” from back in 2017.
Some things these extremists are feared to be plotting?
The FBI judges BIE perceptions of police brutality against African Americans have likely motivated acts of pre-meditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement.”
So if a black crowd shows up to, say, protest the fact that Philando Castile’s murderer is free, guess what — they can be prosecuted for terrorism if ANY of them commit ANY violent act. Shove a cop out of your face? Terrorist.
And what specific acts of racially-motivated violent extremism did the FBI provide examples of? Well, again, BIE’s are listed as a threat, but the cases they note in the Guide were all carried out by white supremacists:
…[the] October 2018 attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, which killed 11, the March 2019 attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 51, and the April 2019 attack on a synagogue in Poway, California, which killed one.”
Trump can’t even bring himself to condemn white nationalist attacks, but he’s tasked the FBI with preventing people from protesting when a killer cop faces no charges?
Featured image via screen capture
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