A new study funded by the Department of Homeland Security characterizes Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.
Entitled Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970-2008 (PDF), the study was produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland. The organization was launched with the aid of DHS funding to the tune of $12 million dollars.
While largely omitting Islamic terrorism – the report fails completely to mention the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – the study focuses on Americans who hold beliefs shared by the vast majority of conservatives and libertarians and puts them in the context of radical extremism.
The report takes its definitions from a 2011 study entitled Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism, produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, in which the following characteristics are used to identify terrorists.
– Americans who believe their “way of life” is under attack;
– Americans who are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”;
– People who consider themselves “anti-global” (presumably those who are wary of the loss of American sovereignty);
– Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”;
– Americans who are “reverent of individual liberty”;
– People who “believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.”
The report also lists people opposed to abortion and “groups that seek to smite the purported enemies of God and other evildoers” as terrorists.
As we have exhaustively documented on numerous occasions, federal authorities and particularly the Department of Homeland Security have been involved in producing a deluge of literature which portrays liberty lovers and small government advocates as terrorists.
The most flagrant example was the infamous 2009 MIAC report, published by the Missouri Information Analysis Center and first revealed by Infowars, which framed Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, people who own gold, or even people who fly a U.S. flag, as potential terrorists.
The rush to denounce legitimate political beliefs as thought crimes, or even mundane behaviors, by insinuating they are shared by terrorists, has accelerated in recent months.
Under the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism program, the bulk purchase of food is labeled as a potential indication of terrorist activity, as is using cash to pay for a cup of coffee, and showing an interest in web privacy when using the Internet in a public place.
As we have documented on numerous occasions, the federal government routinely characterizes mundane behavior as extremist activity or a potential indicator of terrorist intent. As part of its ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign, the Department of Homeland Security educates the public that generic activities performed by millions of people every day, including using a video camera, talking to police officers, wearing hoodies, driving vans, writing on a piece of paper, and using a cell phone recording application,” are all potential signs of terrorist activity.
The DHS stoked controversy last year when it released a series of videos to promote the See Something, Say Something campaign in which almost all of the terrorists portrayed in the PSAs were white Americans.