A Patriotic Nightmare: A Tale of Domestic Terrorism

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Several prominent examples will serve to illustrate this point. The Federalist controlled Congress passed the Sedition Act, which made it a crime to criticize the government of, then President, John Adams. The passage of this bill was justified in light of heightened tensions and talk of war between the United States and France. The intended targets of the bill all turned out to be members of the opposition party, the Republican Party, and many arrests and convictions were upheld that substantially supported a largely misguided grab for power among an elite group of hawkish internationalists within the Federalist Party.

How history does seem to repeat itself. In other words, it is a protection against the confinement of persons without legitimate reason and due process. But, in the early days of the American Civil War, there was a very real belief among those in power that the conflict would spell the end to American democracy and that any means necessary was justified in protecting the state. Thus, President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus and, as a result, opened the door for the detainment, without cause and for trial by military tribunal, of any citizen suspected of being disloyal to the cause of the union.

Some unfortunate few were sentenced to death for their perceived, though largely unproven, complicity with the southern confederacy. The Espionage and Sedition Acts of and —The worldwide social and political unrest of the early 20th century and the ensuing world war led to the passage of these landmark bills. The Espionage and Sedition Acts empowered the American government to suppress and punish disloyalty and subversion, which they broadly defined to include any publication or oral utterance that would impugn the motives of government and thus lead to political dissent among the citizenry.

Debs for questioning American involvement in World War I. This represented the logical outcome of citizens scared into believing the worst about those different from themselves and the willingness of the average person to forfeit fundamental freedoms in the name of national security. These raids, precipitated by the bombing of Attorney General A. These government actions took place across the continental US and were supported by government sponsored vigilante groups, such as the American Protective League and National Security league.

Brinkley notes that groups like these defined their mission as: …spying on their neighbors, eavesdropping on suspicious conversations in bars and restaurants, intercepting and opening the mail and telegrams of people suspected of disloyalty, and reporting to the authorities any evidence of disenchantment with the war effort. German, Jewish, Irish Americans, Bolsheviks, labor-unionists, pacifists, and political dissenters were favorite targets.

Reports of tar and feathering, public castration, and lynching were not uncommon. The Smith Act of —The period up to and including World War II was another chaotic time in American history when civil liberties came under challenge with the passage of the Smith Act. This legislation made it a crime to knowingly advocate for or abet the overthrow of any duly elected governmental institution or to organize any assembly of people to encourage the overthrow of any governmental unit within the US. The Smith Act was the catalyst for one of the saddest moments in recent American history: the forced evacuation, relocation, and internment of , men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry.

While no evidence was ever given for the necessity of the forced exile of this large group, two-thirds of which were American citizens, they were kept in harsh and often punitive conditions for much of the war. It was not until forty-four years later with the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of that a public apology and modest financial reparation was granted to either the detainees or their descendants. The immediate post World War II period, much like the time immediately after the First World War, ushered in the second great Red Scare of the 20th century and was the flash point for what became known as the McCarthy Era.

Its sole purpose was to expose and root out the incipient influence of communism in American society. Guilt by association became the primary mechanism that insured anyone targeted by the committee would pay a high price—whether or not evidence was ever marshaled to support the claim of un-American activities. It was common to point to any political party association or activist group that questioned or criticized the prevailing political climate as a communist front or communist-action organization and thus becoming prima-facially suspect.

Affiliation with any of these groups in any manner could lead to being called before the HUAC, and ongoing surveillance, blacklisting from employment, destruction of reputation, loss of job, or being subjected to vigilante violence. The execution of communist sympathizers and convicted spies Julian and Ethel Rosenberg was but one of the most sordid results of this disastrous time in recent US history.

Its stated mission, according to an internal memo from controversial FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, was to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize activities of individuals and organizations perceived to pose a threat to domestic tranquility Chang, , p. Many prominent Americans and average citizens alike became the target of relentless FBI smear campaigns, including such people as the Reverend Dr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. The clandestine activities of the FBI and related counterintelligence groups was later and resoundingly repudiated in a scathing report from the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, chaired by the late Senator Frank Church. But, unfortunately, it has not been the last attempt to circumvent the Constitution and threaten civil liberties in the name of security and patriotism.

A new and potentially even more virulent effort has recently begun, mostly notably authorized in the language and provisions of the US Patriot Act. On October 26, , President George W. The cumulative impact of these laws and similar administrative rules, executive orders, and judicial rulings is a radical and unprecedented departure from constitutional protections.

The Act consists of ten titles, revises fifteen existing federal statutes, and deals with various activities related to both domestic and international terrorism. In general terms, the Patriot Act has three primary impacts on civil protections in America. Environmental, anti-globalization, political, and welfare activists, in addition to Arab and Muslim philanthropic organizations are prime targets. Recently, free-speaking academics, such as the case of University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, have also come under greater scrutiny and criticism, especially in those states that have passed or are considering passage of a so-called Academic Freedom Bill of Rights, a euphemistic name for a radical neo-conservative initiative to muzzle outspoken academics American Association of University Professors, ; Vanlandingham, Secondly, the Act reduces the increasingly low expectation of personal privacy by granting all branches of law enforcement increased powers of surveillance.

These powers, which are unprecedented and often unchecked, include the ability to monitor all e-mail correspondences and internet usage; conduct so-called sneak and peak searches without probable cause or court orders; and force the disclosure of sensitive personal records from third parties, including private client information from doctors, social workers, educational institutions, libraries, hospitals, social service agencies, insurance companies or any business.

It also authorizes the government to monitor all financial transactions and to conduct nationwide roving wiretaps without warrant as long as the snooping has a significant likelihood of gathering intelligence on terrorist activities.

But the Patriot Act allows government to evade that requirement altogether if it says based upon its good word only that the search has a chance of yielding significant foreign intelligence. These unheralded data mining techniques are already being organized into a national tracking system of domestic surveillance of every person in the United States. To date there have been exactly zero 0 convictions of any of these suspects for terrorist activities. In addition to these seminal provisions of the Patriot Act, which significantly impact US civil liberties, there is other less noticeable but equally invasive aspects of the Act that deserve monitoring.

The first relates to the issue of the guilt by association provision of the Act that target immigrants for deportation and exclusion. This idea is a current iteration of the anti-communist witch hunts of the McCarthy era and earlier periods of US history and make citizen aliens suspect if they are associated in any way to a terrorist organization no matter how innocent or diffuse this association.

Terrorism is defined very generally by the Act. Its overly broad definition includes: 1 any act dangerous to human life that violates criminal law, 2 any acts appearing to be intended to influence policies of the government by intimidation or coercion, and 3 any acts occurring primarily in the territorial jurisdiction of the US Romero, , p. Thus, an alien who sent coloring books to a day-care center run by a designated organization would apparently be deportable as a terrorist, even if she could show that the coloring books were used only by 3-year olds.

Indeed, the law apparently extends even to those who seek to support a group in the interest of countering terrorism. That is, aliens can be denied entry to the US for their political views if in the mind of the US Secretary of State this speech undermines efforts to combat terrorism. Finally, the Patriot Act dramatically reduces judicial oversight of intrusive information gathering powers and expands the role of both the FBI and CIA—empowering them to blur the boundaries between law-enforcement and espionage activities.

In the final analysis, the Bush administration has chosen to ignore the lessons of history that democracy cannot survive in the absence of free and open debate. The administration has, instead, warned Americans to watch what they say and to be careful who they associate with, thus threatening the very vitality of democracy they intend to protect. Terrorism, in and of itself, as the logic goes, seems to require that we permanently suspend constitutional protections.

The radical, neo-conservative right relies on the unquestioning logic that antiterrorism measures infringing upon civil liberties will, in fact, work. But, no one can ever be sure of these premises. In reality, the opposite is likely to be true. While it is perhaps too early to assess the long term implications of a new national security state now descending on American society, a brief glance will suggest at least one very important immediate impact.

If the hard fought battles of the civil rights movement; the massive public outcry against the war in Vietnam; and the multitude of dissenting acts of the early abolitionists, suffragists, and labor organizers has taught us anything, it is that freedom of expression and the right to criticize the government is fundamental to the survival of democracy. When these hard won rights are trampled under the banner of patriotism and national unity, then we are indeed close to realizing one of the gravest warnings of our early founders.

We will lose that war without a shot being fired if we sacrifice the liberties of the American people in the belief that by doing so we will stop the terrorists Hentoff, , pp. Lucky my swatter hit the mark and killed both the 'Adam' and 'Eve' of these dangerous flies. See Joe, anyone can make unsupported claims. How real those claims are is very subjective. I suggest some of the tenuous claims made about saving us all from possible terrorist attacks by locking up a 14 year old in Pommy land and a couple of his loud mouthed teenage facebook followers is not exactly proof of a imminent attack, or that we were saved from anything at all, but hey, Joe, be afraid, very afraid.

It's most accurately split into two issues: Why the public thinks terrorism is a higher priority, and how is Abbot going to make mileage out of it. The reason we accept more measures to stop terrorism is because it's the easiest to prevent disrupt plans, immigration, stripping citizenship, and stay out of the middle east.

People often focus on crime for similar reasons. Compared to that, domestic abuse and alcohol crime warrants changes in psychology and behaviour of possibly millions of Australians. Natural disasters can't be prevented at all. So, terrorism is simply the only purely negative threat that is easiest to solve with fewest losers.

The others, not as much. Politicians easily get attention if they talk about 'how they are going to solve it'. SOME of Abbott's ideas would plausibly work. Other solutions, like those 'patriotic' ideas suggested by UK's David Cameron have been laughed off by the demos as ridiculous. Its easy to get an act of terrorism carried out if you have enough money, you just make a donation to the right people, similar to an election donation, its all the same. The political cartels can do anything they want if they are in alignment with the zionists media.

They can blow up planes and innocent people and sell a lie to the world, thats the most powerful tool. Making planes disappear is easy if you've got "the bomb". The political corporations and ruling class are up for sale and if you have got enough money you can buy them all. These guys will waste all our money on weapons and make a great return on investment for these foreign terrorists.

The Political cartels dont care if the country goes broke and has to sell assets to foreign corporations who pay their bills. That certainly explains everything we need to know about Bob Brown Don't worry the Temple of the Jedi Order have everything under control, we have lulled them into a false sense of security and have them right where we want them!

One only has to look at the way the carbon industry treats the real threat which confronts us. That is, the need for a low carbon emissions economy. We have all that coal to sell. The claim is that coal is needed to pull nations out of poverty by burning fossil fuels, especially coal. It is about the money, and not the poverty of others. Carbon dioxide is but a small percentage of the world's atmosphere but is significant in keeping the world's average temperature above freezing.

There are people who will try to deny CO2 can possibly have any effect. Eggleton, , p. That is what climate scientists are asking for. But it is the money, stupid! We need the money! And they will get it no matter what it takes, if they can. Remember Easter Island. They kept cutting down the trees and raising up false gods - and wrecked the place! Remember Nauru. They sold off all that phosphate and now the place is a prison for the dispossessed. Apart from staying out of the middle east, your other "solutions" to terrorism wouldn't really work, because a lot of these terrorists did not immigrate here themselves nor do they always have dual citizenship - and if they do they can just dump it.

They are "solutions" designed to look harsh and effective despite not actually targeting the biggest problem; young men who are born here and disenfranchised by our society. As for the actual citizenship-stripping proposal- I agree, it's rubbish, as most offenders would likely be sole Australian citizens.

Instead, we should expand laws revoking citizenship to supporters of enemy states to include non-recognized pseudo-states like Islamic State , provided said pseudo-states at least control territory and administer governance. When you compare Islamic extremism and terrorism across Western countries with significantly different foreign policies, it is clear that foreign policy is only one of a number of motives, and only accounts for a portion of the problem. Fixing foreign policy will help mitigate this quite a bit- but won't come close to actually fixing the problem. No, they are disenfranchised by their parent's choices in keeping them out of multicultural society i.

Thus the 'children' don't obtain a multicultural life experience. By the time they have to deal with it beyond high school they have forged their own identity which relies upon an antagonism toward the 'western imperialism'. They take in information that supports the ideas they have about the world and build themselves an identity.

The ideas they have become existential in the sense they are an unchangeable 'part' of themselves that, should society frown upon them, then society is at fault. Assumptions, assumptions once again. You would think Applaudabum had the answer to all of this. However in the case of about 15 percent of my university friends who would be easily labelled as terrorists if they happened to send money to the wrong charity, what you suggest is far from the truth. They went to religious schools, and have no problem assimilation with us at university while managing to study highly approved degrees.

Get the facts right and when you actually have experiences f your own, you may then be able to make more intellectual responses. Hi awake, "They will protect us" is from our perspective. From the politician's perspective, it changes slightly to "they will elect us".

And when you're a politician who values their career and wining government above all else, then that is all than matters. Ultimately, it is the cowardice of the electorate that the current crop of politicians are appealing to.

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It looks like they know us well. Australia has an expansionist superpower with large requirements for natural resources in its neighbourhood. Last time this occurred we suddenly faced a very real and unexpected existential threat, and were caught with our pants down, poorly armed and unable to obtain modern weaponry due to our suppliers having to prioritise their own domestic needs. While I don't believe the threat is very high, if you'd asked us back in , we'd have said the same thing. The truth is, when we are wasting money on this massive beat up, we are not spending money preparing for real threats - be they military, natural disasters and man-made environmental disasters or less exciting but more immediate micro-disasters due to failing infrastructure and healthcare systems.

The truth is, I have regularly seen Australians die as the result of failing health systems. And it isn't as if there is any evidence our spooks lack for information. All available evidence says their current issues are an excess of information regarding potential threats, not a lack of it. Indeed, with respect to our only recent act of domestic terrorism, if Mr Brandis spent more time reading his own mail and less time reading mine, two more Australians would still be alive.

Last time this occurred we suddenly faced a very real and unexpected existential threat, and were caught with our pants down" I don't agree. Japan has been fighting expansionist wars for half a century and were heading south. Our leadership were too moronic and euro-centric to see it. To be fair, Dove, I'm pretty sure China would be expanding aggressively as well, if the US and India didn't have nukes and an interest in preventing China gaining more power and land.

Dove, phew! Dove, I know what you mean. That is the problem when English is your first language. I always found 'English as a second language' folks much better with the grammer and stuff. Nothing has changed our military does what the 2 political corporations demand and they both work for foreigners who donate the most money. Who paid for Abbots education and his election expenses year after year?

How many Bombs, Bullets, war planes and subs has Abbot bought and from whom, thats good business for his investors. How many lives have abbot ended with his purchases and why are we now terrorism targets? We can thank the cartels. Hairy Nosed, I do not disagree with some of your points, but you talk about Australians being blind to an expansionist power which would eventually threaten us in an existential way.

While you have not explicitly named China, it would seem that this is the power you are referring to. However, do you not think the power that threatens us at this time might more likely be the United States, or at least the corporations which own it? Is it not fairly apparent that the intent of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is to take away the sovereignty of nations - including the sovereignty of the United States itself as well?

I think that the enemies of the US are all of those nations which do not bow to its commands. In my opinion, the owners of the U. Abbott and his cohorts, equally Shorten et al. The US says jump and we jump, just as sheep always do.

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I think that Australians are swallowing US and corporate propaganda when they look at China and Russia as the big threats today. This is what the US wants Because they have shown no sign of bowing to the demands of the US hegemon. The stats don't stack up but people don't like the savage barbaric methods used to kill or maim innocent people. I believe Australians of all ethnic backgrounds resent that other Australians would do this, after all we have a wonderful free country.

So politicians see and feel this and respond, it's good politics and common sense. Quote: " Or under very special circumstances It is the desperate act of a desperate Prime Minister to wrap himself in the flag and frighten the population. Howard did it with boat people, and during Timor.

The organisations that are generally concerned with our security have never had it so good during these moments of excess nationalism. Scarce money becomes abundant, and budget emergencies never existed. The people we most rely on to protect us are the mainstream Muslims of our country. They have come here to escape extremism and will be our eyes and ears to prevent it breaking out here. How stupid of TA to promote distrust in our community.

Perhaps one reason why politicians get so worried about 'the terrorist threat' is because they believe that the consequences affect them directly,politically, unlike domestic violence and earthquakes, which are less politically sensitive. Somehow, we have to turn that view around.

I recon the politicians see that their own violent death as a result of a terrorist act is the ultimate goal of the terrorists and underneath all the shouting and goading their desire is to put a good crowd of people between them and the insurgents. Hence the huge expenditure on the WOT. Thank you Jeff for a very important message. Yes we are being goaded into fear by all sorts of possible threats, virtually all coming from Abbott.

The demonstrations on the weekend are all caused by this divisive tactic, that has memories of Pauline Hanson in days gone by, although she is still bashing the same drum. Thanks Nova, yes Western governments and their friends have been at war with their people since the cultural revolution of the s and now have a workable armoury. The grand strategy is pacification of which the threat of 'terrorists' is only the final direct step.

Behind the grand strategy is an economic theory devised in the s which produces financial inequality. It features lone individuals, money first, and competition as the 'productive' way. There was also a vast tightening of our top down hierarchies corporatism which we had historically moderated by cooperation and helping each other out. Hierarchies naturally produce competition and when reinforced by a theory such as economic rationalism magnify inequality in all its forms.

That is the breeding ground and now we see the grand strategy in all its glory as we descend into a mass of nasty conflicts between 'races', sexes and every possible superficial difference. And the late 's was worse then now. So you're saying that 20 years after the worst disparity in modern history someone came up with an economic model and managed to implement it internationally in order to continue to spread out the wealth? That's clever Desert. Anti-semetisim in the mid 20th century was some of the worst racism in history and it was during a time of relative wealth equality.

Spain in the 's I think it was, committed genocide against the Moores a race of people which had migrated from Africa and at that point the wealth disparity was far worse then what it is now. You are projecting assumptions based on too few data points. If you follow the idea that we have been operating in a unsustainable manner resource use, pollution etc. People are profiting today at the expense of future generations.

Michael, the rising financial inequality between and within nations has been one of the most visible signs of modern economic trouble. Are you seriously disputing the fact that as privatization and corporatism more generally have taken over Western societies, the disparity between rich and poor has widened? Who has too few data points? The fundamentals of organizational structures and their consequences have been studied in detail for over 70 years now.

In structures where people are forced to compete if they wish to move up the rat race to improve their wages and conditions, they have to look after their interests first and the interests of others second, otherwise they lose. When economic disparities are small, general inequality is minimal and people are secure in their prospects and the safety net, the need to compete and win is less acute.

The longer we have suffered under economic rationalism, the more insecure people have been feeling, for good reason, the more acute the need to compete and put the other down. While, we have had dramatic instances of racism in the past, what we are talking about today is a more generalized and widespread climate of segmentation, divisiveness which shows up not only in racism but in dogmatism and reduction of civility. Desert you are looking at wealth disparity over forty to fifty years. If you go back to the 70's there has been an increase in wealth disparity till now.

However our economic system has been in place since before the 's so it is unsound to 'start' there. In the late 's the disparity was worse then what it is now. Then it bottomed out, by the 's it peaked, again worse then now, and bottomed out. It continued to drop for about ten years and then sharply grew in the late 40's to a peak before dropping, though not by much and then continued it's downwards trend until the late sixties, during the 70's it hit bottom and it has been on the rise ever since. So yes I am arguing that the disparity between the rich and poor has not widened over the past years.

But 40 years is a very short outlook.

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Most of the rest of what you have said I didn't disagree with so I am unsure why you decided to reiterate it. In competitive structures people have to compete. When economic disparities are small, like in the early 70's, general inequality is small. Many instances in history can be compared to now and yes it has at times been worse when there has been less to spread around but they don't go hand in hand. There is SOME correlation.

NO causation associated. Sorry that one above isn't a different Michael. I was responding to a different post on anther article and a Michael had already posted. Then my computer 'remembered' that username. I mean, do we have to have more economic riots or market crashes to agree a large wealth disparity is a bad idea and we need to remove it before the trouble starts? So over the great mining boom most australians got nothing out of it. You look at history and suggest the gap has been worse before, but it pretty shocking now.

David and Ann My problem with Deserts statement is this "Behind the grand strategy is an economic theory devised in the s which produces financial inequality. I have not at all even suggested that this disparity is not a problem, nor have I suggested that we shouldn't pay attention to it. One of my problems is baseless conspiracy theories which do not deal with the underlying problems of a growth capitalist market model and instead pass it off as some conspiracy of the super rich to become more rich. My other problem is selective stats.

You cannot take stats from the last 40 years when there has been at least years of the current market systems and say. YEP their fault and they are deliberately trying to rile up the public as well. Rubbish premise which does not address the problem. Rubbish stats which do not lead to her conclusion. Michael, I wish it was all rubbish and a conspiracy theory. Unfortunately there is more evidence than can be included in a short comment so I'll stick to what is on the table.

Was the period generally conceded to be one of prosperity which coincided with a global uprising against many authorities such as the state and religion whose value systems had kept many 'in their place'. Did not the people demand more freedom to meet and determine their own futures? When and where was economic rationalism first practiced? Was one of its first targets the collectivist union movement whose task was to protect the rights, wages and conditions of workers from being destroyed by employers?

Was there also at the time a set of other attempts to significantly advantage corporations above not only small cooperative organizations but also governments? Did not John Howard, a proponent of economic rationalism, bring in the most draconian legislation in the world to enshrine the rights of employers over employees? Please tell me how these facts represent a conspiracy? They don't Individual events without any real connection does not a conspiracy make. Secondly I would strongly disagree with some of your flavourful additions. Let's use John Howard as an example.

According to UNICEF in the mid 's during the time that Howard came to power there were approximately million children forced into child labour working between 10 and 14 hours a day. So when you say "bring in the most draconian legislation in the world " the answer would be no. You simply are fear mongering. You are bashing up circumstances to suggest that it is worse then ever before expecting a fear response and yet I have shown you multiple times that it is not worse then ever before and you still insist.

Let's try this in black and white. Can you back this statement up "Behind the grand strategy is an economic theory devised in the s which produces financial inequality. Not fear, not selective data. Michael, these facts do not make a conspiracy - not they don't. They show that the rapid uptake of economic rationalism by governments all over the Western industrialized world was one of the most powerful ways in which they could retrieve their position that was so badly eroded by the cultural revolution.

It has worked well, impoverishing citizens see private debt and pitting one against another so both their economics and social cohesion are so badly damaged they become pacified and compliant. No conspiracy theory at all, just a matter of fact - my point exactly and I thank you for confirming it. Now you are simply lying desert. I did not confirm it. You have not backed up anything you have said with evidence. You are claiming a conspiracy, even if you can't see that.

When you can stop trading in fear. Speak rationally and show evidence we can talk. Until then please do not claim that I have supported your baseless claim. Oh dear Michael, them's fightin' words - are you sure that is the way you want to go? Please tell me exactly which of my many pieces of evidence, and I have more, within that context you refute.

Saying they are all rubbish is not a valid refutation. There is little doubt that when people are demoralized and are being forced apart by circumstances beyond their control, they tend to lash out at 'the other'. When people are divided, they are more prone to gravitate to those who promise them security. Can you provide evidence that economic rationalism has not produced inequality? If you can, let the experts who have studied this all their life know about it. Can you produce evidence that says inequality makes a population more cohesive, self confident and secure?

Have you evidence that the cultural revolution did not happen? That it did not revolve around people rejecting the 'authority' of their elders and betters? Can you provide evidence that economic rationalism was practiced before the cultural revolution, before Reagan and Thatcher practiced it to destroy cooperative practices?

I have provided much evidence for my case, in particular that economic rationalism is one determinant of our current anxieties. You need to provide some for yours. You have aelected a timeline of forty years from one of the lowest, if not the lowest point of disparity during the modern economic system.

This, as I have pointed out is invalid as the modern economic system has been around for three to five times that period. I questioned the legitimacy of swlecting this timeline and you have not provided any logicak reason for this selection. Selecting so short a period is as valid as selecting a short period of tempreture drops to 'disproove' climate change. It's rubbish. Sexondly saying can I provide evidence of a negative is a fallacy in and of itself. If you do not understand that then I cannot help you. Thirdly which cultural revolution are you speaking of? During times of low economic disparity there is cultural revolution.

Happend in the 20's and late 40's and the late 60's early 70's. The term economic rationalism was first coined in the 's. But conservitive economic models had been used before. This is another example of you using selective terms without basis. As far as me saying you are lying is concerned. You said I confirmed what you said and I did not. So I fail to see why they would be fighting words. So let's try this one more time. Why are you selectivky choosing to pick a timeframe of less then one third of the life span of our current economic system?

Why do you think virtually every government has partaken in this process to limit the populice and how can you say that what you are saying is not a conspiracy theory? Michael, you responded to my comment where I defined the limits within which I was writing. I do not have to change my subject matter to conform to your response. I was commenting specifically on the economic theory that is variously attributed to Milton Friedman and Friedrick Hayek.

You can read John Quiggin for an Australian reference. Many tomes have been written about the cultural revolution of the s. I suggest you read a couple of them. Secondly it is a free-market economic model with low levels of government regulation and interference, including welfare. This has been practised in various forms since the 19th century. I challenged the idea of choosing the time frame you did so saying "My original comment was clearly within the context of the West and the period since WWII.

You have claimed that there is a grand strategy of pacification across many countries by many governments. This is a conspiracy theory. You then say that individual events are proof of this theory. But you have no rational to link them together. I have repeatedly challenged your time period selection as being overly selective, which you have ignored.

I have repeatedly challenged the idea that "Western governments and their friends have been at war with their people since the cultural revolution of the s and now have a workable armoury. The grand strategy is pacification" which you have ignored. You have chosen to say that people during the 60's and 70's demanded more freedoms and were more well off.

Where as many economists have shown that during periods of economic freedom people pursue other freedom. This is because they have their base necessities in check and can spend time, and money, on the pursuit of other freedoms instead of being concerned about bread. You have provided no evidence just your speculation. I have referenced multiple sources to show your data selection is invalid and you have ignored them. Then you claim that I have supported your arguments when I have not.

I have challenged your links, and your rationale, or lack there of. Not your base facts. Was there a cultural revolution in the sixties. Yes, there was also one in the twenties when the economy was good, your point? The one in China that caused the deaths of millions? Was there some other one I didn't hear about but apparently lived through?

Why is the gap shocking? It shouldn't be about the gap, that is just envy. I care about my standard of living. If you can say they our standard of living is worse today than 50 years ago then I will agree we have a problem. Our poor people today have modern conveniences mobile phones etc where brand name clothes etc. A long way from those in poverty in years gone by. I was wondering the same thing dr dig. People talk about "the wealth". Where is this wealth? Where was it before the rich people got hold of it? I think that you need to be careful not to bite the hand that feeds you.

Ghost of Christmas Present I flat-out don't believe you. The comment actually says nothing about whether the rich or poor are doing the subsidising, and is quite credible to me. Lachlan, fair enough. I am not sure that is what he meant but you are right about what he said. That disparity depends on what you define as rich and poor. I would say that our poor today are many times better off than the poor of yesteryear, hence our systems have been working well for the poor.

A few generations ago the poor were also hungry. That part of the problem seems to have been solved. Hundred years ago the rich were fat and the poor were slim. Now the opposite seems to be the case. Your conspiracy theories are as bad as those of ASD above. You should get together it would make for interesting discussion.

Our freedoms are now reduced and we fear walking in some suburbs, or lock our doors when driving down certain roads. No doubt this country has changed and we cannot just dismiss this. Our police are targeted and we have never seen this before. Before we dismiss the enemy we should show them some respect and understand they do want to change the way of life in this country and we should be mindful of them amongst us who hate us.

Yes, there are many other causes of death as the author has indicated, some even intentional too, intentionality of terrorism one aspect even if here in Australia there may be more disgust and horror of the attrocities if not fear. Added to the intention to do harm and despite the seeming inability for mass harm to the west for now, what many citizens would hope our governments are alert to is the nature of ISIS and how it seems to spread as something of a virus, spread by religious dogma if somewhat of twisted minds, that being the underlying threat for it seems there is no stopping as to how twisted and how many minds can be twisted or bent towards the twisted way of thinking.

Be alert and not alarmed was the focus following and the same holds true now, not that too many people likely have recognition for either in Australia as we go about our normal lives. As for the US west coast being toast, it would be a bit like telling all Australian east coast communities should relocate permanently to locations at least m above SL, fat chance that ever happening.

Thinblueline, exactly right. Neither the christians nor the islamists can help themselves and stop spreading doctrines and dogma of hatred and divisiveness. Simply because they are both sects of the Abrahamic faith that worships an iron age demi god from the Canaanite polytheistic mythology. Don't expect too much from them, Born with faith? So then , if you are born with faith , why arent all equal? Every terrorist will tell you they were born with faith. However based on the global population it would seem children are naturally Hindus.

And then Also, they have no interest in coming over here and ruling us. Despite saying they want to conquer the world, they still haven't managed to properly conquer a small patch of territory. You are buying the line that Daesh is a problem or threat to us. Well, in fact it is unwise to built less then 5 metres above high tide level, as that is at best where the sea will be in years or less. But no one listens to that either. The greatest terror comes in the shape of a helicopter or limousines costing us not only money but our moral position.

This is terror. She should know better and have done something about such waste of taxpayer funds. What do you expect our country's representatives to do overseas, walk? There is a component to the OS travel of the dignity and standing of Australia, they can't catch the bus. This is a wonderfully insightful article that leads me to dwell on what existential crisis we actually are facing in Western society.

As far as I see it, we are facing one in the sense that we can't turn back from the last 40 years of decisions regarding terrorism, the economic shifts, and the clash of cultures occurring across the globe. We shut the doors and force people to enter through the windows, as it were. The alarm begets some rather frighteningly misguided and confused nationalism such as the Reclaim Australia Rallies over the 18thth of July , that leads to antagonisation from the Left and Right AntiFa and UPF, for example. These threats are already here, fostered by our walled in community.

Sure, there are the monumental and numerous shady deals between Western Governments and big business, but let's talk about the valley they have led us to. What is the existential crisis? That we stopped trying to understand each other and started shouting our thoughts without a moments pause, because our freedom of speech and expression is worth more than another person's.

If you would kindly remember the early and mid 90s before the internet started seeing more widespread and active use , you would have remembered that the only voices 'heard' were politicians and media- everybody else dumbly conformed, and parroted only views that were media mainstream- any views that didn't appear on TV or newspapers were simply illegitimate or non-existent from public discussion.

As for Broken Nails analysis, my answer is simple. If people were constantly trying to break into my house by 'entering the windows', my problem wouldn't be 'failing to understand them'- it's simply them. Of course, if I found out some stranger signed my house up as a refuge without my direct permission, I'd have a problem with their actions too. BkDw, I agree that the real existential threat we are currently facing is environmental degradation, and it is truly a shame that it is not mentioned in this article.

However, climate change is only one of the risks. Others include ocean acidification also caused by CO2, but separate from climate change killing off the seaweed that produces our oxygen, over-fishing, and disruption to pollinators like colony collapse disorder that is killing bees in the northern hemisphere. Resource wars are also likely to become an existential threat, when the supply of drinking water, phosphate fertilizer and petroleum all stop meeting demand.

We're just inventing them now. Licenses for push bikes, anyone? Politicians have an excuse, they need to appear busy. The rest of us just get psychological comfort from complaining. After all if you have a problem, especially if you can show you're some kind of victim of injustice, well that makes you a special flower. But does it sell news? It's the media that feeds on peoples fears and for every action there is a reaction. The governments of the day have to do something about these intolerable situations reported in the press.

All the terrorist things that are going on today have been going on throughout history, the difference? We didn't know about them until days, weeks, months and sometimes ever! Now the news of someone being beheaded or dying in some atrocious way is inside our computers and tv's almost seconds after it happens. Doesn't mean being insular is more safe, only that we feel safer. If you had plastered the headlines with the death and made it look gruesome, people would sit up and start taking notice and demand the government do something about it.

That is a valid point. Domestic terrorists may not be the top federal counterterrorism priority, but they feature prominently among the concerns of some law enforcement officers. The violence related to protests in Charlottesville, VA, on August 12, , also has raised the issue of domestic terrorism, particularly related to public discussions regarding a widely reported incident involving James Alex Fields, who according to witnesses drove his car into a group of people protesting a rally featuring white supremacists in Charlottesville on August The Department of Justice DOJ has opened a civil rights investigation into the incident, presumably pursuing possible hate crime charges.

This report provides background regarding domestic terrorists—detailing what constitutes the domestic terrorism threat as suggested by publicly available U. This report does not discuss in detail either violent jihadist-inspired terrorism or the federal government's role in counterterrorism investigations. Two basic questions are key to understanding domestic terrorism. First, what exactly constitutes "domestic terrorism? Some consider all terrorist plots occurring within the homeland as acts of domestic terrorism. According to this perspective, a bombing plot involving U. While this conceptualization may be true at some level, a practical definition of domestic terrorism distilled from federal sources is much narrower.

It suggests that domestic terrorists are Americans who commit ideologically driven crimes in the United States but lack foreign direction or influence—whether tactical or philosophical. This conceptualization excludes homegrown individuals directed or motivated by groups such as Al Qaeda or the Islamic State. Second, what particular groups are considered domestic terrorist organizations? Rather, in broad terms, DOJ has identified a number of general threats that embody this issue.

The ideological concepts that underpin such threats may inspire criminal activity, such as hate crimes, that do not rise to the level of terrorism. This further complicates defining "domestic terrorism. In the most general statutory terms, a domestic terrorist engages in terrorist activity that occurs in the homeland. The FBI generally relies on two fundamental sources to define domestic terrorism.

First, the Code of Federal Regulations characterizes "terrorism" as including "the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. Section 5 more narrowly defines "domestic terrorism" and differentiates it from international terrorism and other criminal activity.

According to 18 U. Section 5 , domestic terrorism occurs primarily within U. JTTFs are teams of police officers, federal agents, analysts, linguists, SWAT experts, and other specialists who investigate terrorism and terrorism-related crimes. These officers and agents come from more than state and local agencies and 50 federal agencies. JTTFs also offer an important conduit for the sharing of intelligence developed from FBI-led counterterrorism investigations with outside agencies and state and local law enforcement.

The definitions cited above are too broad to capture what the FBI specifically investigates as "domestic terrorism. According to the Bureau, domestic terrorists do not simply operate in the homeland, but they also lack foreign direction. On the surface, the FBI's shorthand definition for domestic terrorism appears straightforward. However, there is inherent ambiguity to it. Namely, some of the "U.

The ideologies supporting eco-extremism and animal rights extremism discussed below readily come to mind, and people have long committed crimes in their names outside the United States. Nazism—with its German origins and foreign believers—is an element within domestic white supremacist extremism. Anarchism, the philosophy followed by anarchist extremists, also has long-standing European roots. The racist skinhead movement traces its origins abroad—to the United Kingdom—as well. These examples illustrate the FBI's challenge when it emphasizes U.

A few more issues make it hard to grasp the breadth of domestic terrorist activity in the United States. Second, there may be some ambiguity in the investigative process regarding exactly when criminal activity becomes domestic terrorism. Third, the federal government appears to use the terms "terrorist" and "extremist" interchangeably when referring to domestic terrorism.

It is unclear why this is the case. Finally, and most importantly, which specific groups are and should be considered domestic terrorist organizations? Rather, the federal government defines the issue in terms of "threats," not groups. While statutory and practical federal definitions exist for "domestic terrorism," there is little clear sense of the scope of the domestic terrorist threat based on publicly available U.

A bit more narrowly, in many instances, individuals considered to be domestic terrorists by federal law enforcement may be charged under non-terrorism statutes, making it difficult to grasp from the public record exactly how extensive this threat is. Regarding the prosecution of domestic terrorism cases, no separate federal crime of "domestic terrorism" exists. When this occurs, the Bureau, "support[s] [its local] partners any way [it] can—sharing intelligence, offering forensic assistance, conducting behavioral analysis, etc.

It may not be possible for investigators to describe the criminal activity involved early in an investigation as domestic terrorism. In these instances, investigators can work toward clarifying the motives of the suspects involved. Most importantly, unlike ordinary criminals—who are often driven by self-centered motives such as profit and tend to opportunistically seek easy prey—domestic terrorists are driven by a cause or ideology.

Section 5 , presumably the case becomes a domestic terrorist investigation. In some instances, ideologically motivated actors can also collaborate with profit-driven individuals to commit crimes. To further cloud matters, another category of criminal activity, hate crime, may appear to involve ideological issues. However, as described by one federal official, a "hate crime" "generally involve[s] acts of personal malice directed at individuals" and is missing the broader motivations driving acts of domestic terrorism. This suggests that sorting domestic terrorism from hate crimes depends on the degree of a suspect's intent.

Did the suspect articulate an ideology belonging to an extremist movement? The grey area between domestic terrorism and hate crime hints that in some instances, suspects with links to domestic terrorist movements or ideologies supporting domestic terrorism may be charged with hate crimes. If some individuals of this ilk commit crimes against police or judges, for example, is the government more apt to label this activity as terrorism while individuals sharing these same racist motivations but targeting ordinary citizens based on race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation are charged with hate crimes?

Domestic Terrorism: An Overview

When it comes to characterizing ideologically inspired criminal actors for investigative purposes, the FBI occasionally confronts suspects who can be viewed either as terrorists or as perpetrators of hate crimes. Precisely understanding suspect's motives among other things can be useful in categorizing his or her case as either a domestic terrorism or hate crime investigation.

Three churchgoers survived. DOJ pursued a case involving federal hate crimes and firearms charges. Lynch noted in that DOJ pursued federal hate crimes charges because "[w]e think that this is exactly the type of case that the federal hate crimes statutes were, in fact, conceived to cover. The FBI's public description of the case of confessed would-be bomber Kevin Harpham is an example of how difficult it may be to characterize acts as domestic terrorism.

Initially, the FBI viewed the case as domestic terrorism. In , Harpham, motivated by white supremacist ideology, left a bomb—which never detonated—along the route of a parade in Spokane, WA, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Another concept that muddies discussion of domestic terrorism is "extremism. National security expert Jonathan Masters has suggested that many law enforcement officials likely view "extremism" as largely synonymous with "terrorism.

This flexibility is certainly an asset to prosecutors. They can charge subjects of FBI domestic terrorism investigations under a wider array of statutes without having to convince a jury that the accused were terrorists. However, for policymakers this flexibility makes it hard to determine the scope of the domestic terrorist threat. One cannot get a clear sense of scope if some individuals are charged and publicly described as terrorists, others are discussed as extremists, and still others enter the public record only as criminals implicated in crimes not necessarily associated with terrorism, such as trespassing, arson, and tax fraud.

The FBI's public formulation of "extremism" suggests two components. First, extremism involves hewing to particular ideologies. Second, it also includes criminal activity to advance these ideologies. An "anarchist extremist" is an anarchist who adopts criminal tactics. It separates domestic terrorists from U. The federal government does not generate an official and public list of domestic terrorist organizations or individuals. However, a lack of official lists or processes to designate groups or individuals as domestic terrorists makes it difficult to assess domestic terrorism trends and evaluate federal efforts to counter such threats.

In , an unnamed DHS official cited in a news report stated that "unlike international terrorism, there are no designated domestic terrorist groups. Subsequently, all the legal actions of an identified extremist group leading up to an act of violence are constitutionally protected and not reported on by DHS. While the government does not provide an official and public list of domestic terrorist organizations, it does include domestic terrorists along with international terrorists in its Terrorist Screening Database, commonly known as the "Terrorist Watchlist.

The government is much less vague regarding foreign terrorist organizations. They are officially designated as such according to a well-established legally and procedurally proscribed regimen. According to the Department of State's Bureau of Counterterrorism, as of August 16, , the Secretary of State had designated 61 foreign terrorist organizations according to Section of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended. This may complicate the understanding that federal policymakers have of what exactly the government considers "domestic terrorism.

DOJ has identified domestic terrorism threats to include criminal activity by animal rights extremists, ecoterrorists, anarchists, anti-government extremists such as 'sovereign citizens' and unauthorized militias, black separatists, white supremacists, and abortion extremists. The actors who constitute each of the domestic terrorist "threats" outlined by DOJ draw upon ideologies whose expression largely involves constitutionally protected activity.

The FBI safeguards against cases focused solely on constitutionally protected activities. All FBI investigations have to be conducted for an authorized national security, criminal, or foreign intelligence collection purpose. This poses at least two fundamental questions:. How many crimes or plots attributed to a specific ideology have to occur to stimulate the identification of a new extremist threat? Is the severity of the crimes linked to an ideology taken into consideration? Should there be a means for public petitioning of the government to eliminate various threats as investigative priorities?

The below discussion of domestic terrorism threats does not necessarily presume the priority of one over the other. The term "animal rights extremism" covers criminal acts committed in the name of animal rights. Many of the crimes committed by both animal rights extremists and ecoterrorists are perpetrated by independent small cells or individuals who harass and intimidate their victims. Most animal rights extremists and ecoterrorists also eschew physical violence directly targeting people or animals. Regardless, crimes committed by ecoterrorists and animal rights extremists have caused millions of dollars in property damage, and some have involved the intimidation and harassment of victims.

They achieve this via "above-ground" wings. Largely using websites, ALF and ELF supporters publish literature highlighting movement philosophies, tactics, and accounts press releases of recent movement-related criminal activity. Much of this involves protected speech and occurs in the public realm.

Press releases allow "underground" extremists to publicly claim responsibility for criminal activity in the name of either movement while maintaining secrecy regarding the details of their operations. People can simultaneously participate in both. This may partly be true because the movements are so amorphous. The two movements also share similar agendas, and in they declared solidarity. For example, an individual can commit a crime and claim responsibility for it online in the name of both the ALF and the ELF.

The group included about 20 individuals and called itself "the Family. The Family was responsible for an arson attack in at the Vail Ski Resort. Both the ALF and the ELF rely on and borrow from a number of philosophical underpinnings to rationalize their beliefs and actions. These help forge a common identity among individuals in each movement.

These ideas are also key principles professed by more mainstream animal rights or environmental activists engaged in legal protest. The ALF's moral code includes the belief that animals possess basic inalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and this suggests that animals cannot be owned. According to the ALF, the U.

To suggest otherwise is to be prejudiced, according to animal rights adherents. For the ALF and other animal rights supporters, the favoring of one species, particularly humans, over others has a name: speciesism. For the ALF, speciesism is a "discriminatory belief system as ethically flawed and philosophically unfounded as sexism or racism, but far more murderous and consequential in its implications. Intimidation of scientists and employees of businesses tied to animal research or testing is rationalized as confrontation with "oppressors" or those who, in the eyes of movement adherents, abuse and murder animals.

There is no single formula for what constitutes the ideological makeup of an ELF follower, but several concepts likely play key roles in the movement. These are biocentrism, deep ecology, social ecology, and green anarchism. Biocentrism argues for the equality of all organisms. Green anarchism ascribes environmental harm to civilization and domestication and embraces the notion of "rewilding," or rejecting civilization and returning to a hunter-gatherer state to preserve one's natural surroundings. According to the FBI, anarchist extremists commit crimes in the name of anarchist ideals. Anarchist extremists as well as anarchists engaging in constitutionally protected activity can oppose government, business, or social interests that they view as dangerous.

As this suggests, anarchists advocate some form of revolution that realigns authority in the societies they desire to transform. However, adherents cannot agree to a single means for attaining revolutionary change. As one may assume, anarchist activity is decentralized. In fact, a basic, temporary organizational structure—the affinity group—likely plays a larger role in shaping the work of U. The decision-making process is anarchist, that is to say, egalitarian, participatory, deliberative, and consensual.


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The friends coalesce around a specific objective and break apart when they achieve their desired ends. Individual groups can band together in "clusters" and clusters can coordinate their efforts, if need be. These structures have a long history among anarchists, but other movements use them as well. These involve secretive planning for public—often criminal—activity in which participants, typically dressed in black, act en-masse. These three movements share general philosophical tenets such as opposition to globalization and capitalism.

In the aftermath of the violence related to protests in Charlottesville, VA, on August 12, , there has been media attention devoted to the confrontational tactics of antifascist protesters known as "Antifa. Its adherents are predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists who reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy. The FBI has described anarchist extremists as typically being "event driven," meaning. They usually target symbols of Western civilization that they perceive to be the root causes of all societal ills—i. They damage and vandalize property, riot, set fires, and perpetrate small-scale bombings.

Law enforcement is also concerned about anarchist extremists who may be willing to use improvised explosives devices or improvised incendiary devices. Anarchist extremists in the United States have been involved in illegal activity during mass protests surrounding events such as the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Seattle, WA.

Anarchist extremists reportedly committed crimes during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN. Law enforcement infiltrated and undermined these efforts, arresting people, including eight involved with the RNCWC. Prosecutors added a more serious charge of conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism, which was later dismissed. The others had all of the charges they faced dismissed.

On April 30, , five men who reputedly had anarchist sympathies were arrested for purportedly scheming to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, OH. The four others pled guilty. Occupy Cleveland representatives stated that the would-be bombers "were in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland. Criminal acts involving anarchist extremists do not have to be event-driven.

For example, Eric G. King pled guilty to using explosive devices to commit arson in a failed attempt to ignite a fire at the Kansas City, MO, office of U. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II. The incident occurred when the office was unoccupied, but King had posted violent commentary regarding police to social media. Anarchist extremists are also suspected in a similar incident that occurred in Grand Rapids, MI in In another case that was not event-driven, Joseph Konopka, the self-dubbed "Dr. Chaos," allegedly led a group of boys he called "The Realm of Chaos" in a series of crimes involving vandalism to radio and cell phone towers in the late s and early s.

In , he was arrested in Chicago for storing more than a pound of deadly cyanide powder in a passageway in a Chicago Transit Authority subway tunnel. The term "white supremacist extremism" WSE describes people or groups who commit criminal acts in the name of white supremacist ideology. According to media sources, in May , FBI and DHS released a joint intelligence bulletin reputedly stating that white supremacists "were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from to At its core, white supremacist ideology purports that the white race ranks above all others.

WSE draws on the constitutionally protected activities of a broad swath of racist hate-oriented groups active in the United States ranging from the Ku Klux Klan to racist skinheads. Some of these groups have elaborate organizational structures, dues-paying memberships, and media wings. Additionally, many individuals espouse extremist beliefs without having formal membership in any specific organization. A large proportion of white supremacists dualistically divide the world between whites and all other peoples who are seen as enemies.

In fact, a common racist and revisionist historical refrain is that the civil rights movement succeeded only because Jews orchestrated it behind the scenes. Scholars indicate that white supremacists believe in racial separation and that society discriminates against them. To them, whites have lost "ground to other groups and The Fourteen Words have been described as "the most popular white supremacist slogan in the world.

Neo-Nazism and its obsession with Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany is also a prominent component of white supremacist extremism in the United States. According to one scholar, Rockwell laid down three concepts that have shaped neo-Nazism ever since. For his followers, he reconfigured the racial notion of "white," broadening it beyond "Aryan" to include people of Southern and Eastern European descent.

Additionally, Rockwell denied the Holocaust. He also encouraged tying neo-Nazism to religion, and some of his followers took up the obscure creed of Christian Identity. Aside from racial superiority, a dualistic view of the world, and neo-Nazism, at least two other broad concepts shape white supremacy in the United States. They are the inevitability of violent conflict, and a belief that conspiracies hostile to white supremacy shape the existing world.

The FBI has stated that white supremacists "commonly anticipate" waging war against their opponents. Conspiracism has been defined as "the idea that most major historic events have been shaped by vast, long-term, secret conspiracies that benefit elite groups and individuals. Regardless, conspiracy theories can particularly shape the outlooks and actions of white supremacist extremists. Media sources have stated that Richard Poplawski—convicted of shooting and killing three Pittsburgh police officers in April —believed that a Zionist conspiracy controlled government and major corporations in the United States.

As in Poplawski's example, anti-Semitism plays a prominent role in the racist conspiracies of many white supremacists. It operates through many social 'front' institutions, from the United Nations to Parent-Teacher Associations ZOG can be used to explain not only the existence of affirmative action, environmental pollution, and pornography but also why a certain individual made poor grades in school, lost his job, or seems unable to find a partner.

According to adherents, ZOG is said to control the media, arts, religion, science, and education. In the s and s, a small number of figures dominated white supremacist circles. They were intimately linked to their own relatively cohesive organizations. By the early s, these groups fragmented as they lost their leaders. Two particularly well-known white supremacist figures died in the early s. William Pierce, head of the National Alliance, died in Richard Butler, leader of Aryan Nations, died in The decline of these groups also resulted from a number of other forces, such as infighting among members and pressure from law enforcement and watchdog groups.

Domestic Terrorism: An Overview

Several movements espousing such views participated in the August rally in Charlottesville, VA, that led to violence mentioned earlier. It has benefitted from the decline of other groups as well as new leadership in the form of Jeff Schoep. The group, which emerged in , is a descendant of the American Nazi Party, and until the s and early s "it operated only on the fringes of the neo-Nazi movement.

In the United States, racist skinheads have a legacy stretching back to the s. This is "reinforced by hate-filled white power music and literature. Skinheads emerged as a non-racist movement among British working-class youth in the late s. These early skinheads rejected the hippie lifestyle and embraced elements of Jamaican culture, particularly reggae and ska music. This racist skinhead variant of the subculture materialized in the U. Midwest and in Texas in the early s. In the mids, many U. These groups saw HSN as "elitist. In January , the FBI released a bulletin that, among other things, emphasized that some racist skinheads formed the most violent segment of WSE adherents.

At least one exception involved greater levels of planning. One man was convicted and two others pled guilty in a Connecticut case that involved the illegal sale of firearms and homemade grenades. The scheme included multiple meetings between late and early to negotiate the transactions, prepare the firearms, and assemble the grenades.

The trio was tied to a skinhead group known as Battalion 14 originally called the Connecticut White Wolves. They sold the weapons to a convicted felon working as an FBI cooperating witness. As mentioned above, DOJ considers both unauthorized militias and sovereign citizens as anti-government extremists. Neither militia membership nor advocacy of sovereign citizen tenets makes one a terrorist or a criminal. However, in some instances both militia members and sovereign citizens have committed crimes driven in part by their ideologies. The militia movement became prominent in the s as a collection of armed, paramilitary groups formed to stave off what they perceived as intrusions of an invasive government.

Some adherents also believe in anti-Semitic and racist ideologies. Militia groups typically coalesce around a specific leader. Groups can run training compounds where they rehearse paramilitary tactics, practice their survival skills, and receive weapons instruction and lessons in movement ideology. Some militia groups also maintain websites for recruitment and fundraising. They also try to buy or manufacture improvised explosive devices. Segments of the militia movement believe that the U.

Some see a "New World Order" controlling U. They contend that this is partly fostered by international organizations such as the United Nations. From this perspective, these organizations sap American sovereignty. Some militia supporters believe that agents of an un-authentic "Shadow Government" are interested in seizing lawfully owned firearms as part of a plan to undermine democracy. A small minority of Americans who held anti-government fears formed militias largely in response to two incidents in the early s.

The militia movement declined after the bombing. Observers have noted that the militia movement has experienced resurgence in the last decade, likely driven by growing antipathy toward the federal government. Jerry Drake Varnell was arrested in August after he allegedly intended to damage or destroy a bank in downtown Oklahoma City by reportedly attempting to detonate what he thought was a bomb in a van. But the inert explosive device was based on materials provided by an undercover FBI agent as part of an investigation that nabbed Varnell, who allegedly was inspired by the Timothy McVeigh's bombing.

Varnell purportedly hewed to militia extremist beliefs and, according to investigators, expressed an interest in founding a small militia. Two widely reported incidents in recent years have attracted militia and other anti-government extremists. The above activities are not necessarily indicative of trends toward violence in the larger militia movement, and in one prominent case, DOJ failed to convince the presiding judge of serious charges revolving around a purported violent plot. In March , a federal judge acquitted members of a Michigan Militia group known as the Hutaree on charges of seditious conspiracy or rebellion against the United States and conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction.

The judge also cleared the accused Hutaree members of weapons crimes related to the conspiracies. The case garnered headlines in March , when nine Hutaree members were indicted for allegedly preparing to violently confront U. According to DOJ, the Hutaree discussed the use of explosives against the funeral procession. The war will come whether we are ready or not. Attorney acknowledged that the Hutaree had not formed a "specific plan" to attack government targets.

District Judge Victoria Roberts stated that, "The court is aware that protected speech and mere words can be sufficient to show a conspiracy. In this case, however, they do not rise to that level. The FBI defines the sovereign citizen movement as "anti-government," involving people "who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or 'sovereign' from the United States. As a result, they do not accept any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, or law enforcement.

The ideas behind the movement originated during the s with a group known as the Posse Comitatus and enjoyed some popularity in extremist circles during the s and s. For the most part, the sovereign citizen movement is diffuse and includes few organized groups. These gurus rouse followers into believing a conspiracy theory in which the legitimate federal government has been replaced by a government designed to take away the rights of ordinary citizens.

Gurus can also promote illegal techniques that individuals can use to supposedly cut their ties to the federal government or avoid its reach, particularly when it comes to taxation. Sovereign citizens reject the legitimacy of much of the U. By ignoring all sorts of laws, avoiding taxes, disregarding permit requirements, and destroying government-issued identification documents, some sovereign citizens have tried to cut formal ties with what they perceive as an illegitimate regime.

Sovereign citizens have in some instances created fictitious entities and used fake currency, passports, license plates, and driver licenses. In , a federal jury found three men guilty of conspiring to use and sell fraudulent diplomatic credentials and license plates that they believed allowed "their customers [to] enjoy diplomatic immunity and [to] no longer For example, news reports indicate that in June , a sheriff's deputy in Florida pulled over John McCombs when the law enforcement official noticed a Pembina Nation Little Shell license plate on the motorcycle McCombs was driving.

According to publicly available sources, McCombs presented a fraudulent letter of diplomatic immunity and an invalid Pembina Nation Little Shell vehicle registration. Some sovereign citizen fraud appears to be motivated by economic opportunism rather than ideology. In addition, the federal jury convicted Patricia of structuring transactions to avoid bank reporting requirements.

Some avowed sovereign citizens have been involved in violent altercations with law enforcement officers:. In June , the FBI issued a bulletin suggesting that some sovereign extremists might move away from more spontaneous violence simply in reaction to encounters with police and are potentially preparing for conflict in advance, "making more specific plans to interfere with state and local law enforcement officers during traffic stops and, in some cases, intentionally initiating contact with law enforcement. Reportedly, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department ran an undercover investigation to nab the two after they encountered Brutsche in what has been characterized as a series of vehicle stops during which "Brutsche would espouse his Sovereign Citizen beliefs that he wasn't bound by the law Metro officers were enforcing.

Other cases have garnered attention. For example, in July James M. Tesi allegedly shot at a local police officer trying to arrest him near Fort Worth, TX. Tesi was reportedly wounded in the altercation. Outstanding "arrest warrants for speeding, driving without a license in possession, and failure to appear" prompted the attempted apprehension. The shooting reportedly occurred during a physical struggle in which Foust attempted to "gain control of" the police officer's Taser.

DOJ includes black separatism in its list of movements that potentially spawn domestic terrorists. The group's actions occur "on behalf of the poor or disadvantaged, involving the ready display of firearms. Officers claimed that inside the apartment, the victim—an alleged drug dealer with a criminal record—was holding a firearm.

He reportedly "liked" groups on Facebook tied to black separatism and may have been involved at some point with the NBPP in Houston. A civil suit filed by DOJ claimed that two NBPP members wearing the group's paramilitary uniforms loitered around the entrance to a federal general election polling station in Philadelphia.

One of the NBPP members allegedly carried a nightstick. According to DOJ, some poll watchers feared for their safety because of this activity. Philadelphia police officers responding to claims of voter intimidation removed the nightstick-wielding NBPP member and allowed the other to remain the latter was a certified poll watcher.

Police asked people at the polling station whether they had been threatened by the two individuals. All those questioned replied that they had not. However, at least one individual claimed that the presence of the two NBPP members had been intimidating. The vast majority of activists who either favor or oppose abortion engage in constitutionally protected activity. However, abortion extremism involves crimes committed based on such beliefs. Over the past two decades, most abortion-related violence appears to have targeted abortion providers.

Two violent incidents have been prominent in recent years. In , Robert Dear, Jr. On January 29, , Scott Roeder was convicted of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault for killing Tiller. Roeder shot Tiller while the latter was at church on May 31, Roeder was sentenced to "life in prison with no possibility of parole for 50 years. A number of other unrelated schemes targeting abortion clinics have been uncovered since Roeder's arrest. These incidents appear to involve individuals largely operating alone. They also deny that attacks against clinics and abortion providers constitute violent activity, because they see it as "Godly work.

Three individuals who claimed membership in AOG were responsible. It details methods for blockading entrances, attacking with butyric acid, arson, bomb making, and other illegal activities. The manual begins with a declaration of war on the abortion industry. The boundary between constitutionally protected legitimate protest and terrorist activity has received much attention in public discussions of domestic terrorism.

As an example of this, the next several sections of this report explore such considerations regarding the ALF. As articulated by some scientific researchers, the monetary toll on legitimate businesses and laboratories in the United States exacted by animal rights and eco-extremists is compounded by less tangible issues. For example, animal rights extremists and ecoterrorists have impacted the work of scientists. In some cases, special equipment and research materials have been destroyed in attacks.

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The consequences of criminal activity in the name of movements such as the ALF can also be more personal. Two advocates of animal research conducted strictly according to federal regulations have noted that the actions of animal rights extremists have pushed some scientists to quit lab work involving animals. Often, this work relates to products and procedures that some maintain cannot feasibly be marketed without animal testing. Critics of U. Namely, the AETA. Amends the federal criminal code to revise criminal prohibitions against damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise to include intentional damage or loss to any real or personal property and intentional threats of death or serious bodily injury against individuals or their family members, spouses, or intimate partners who are involved with animal enterprises.

It also prohibits intentionally placing a person in "reasonable fear" of death or serious bodily injury while damaging or interfering in the operations of an animal enterprise. The AETA revised and increased monetary and criminal penalties. It also stipulates that it does not prohibit First Amendment-protected activity. DOJ successfully prosecuted individuals on charges relating to animal enterprise terrorism for the first time under the AEPA in the case had been built before the AETA had been signed into law. Reportedly, the six incited threats, harassment, and vandalism and on this basis were convicted of violating the AEPA.


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