A new intelligence report produced by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigations is calling attention to an apparent domestic terror threat from ” right-wing sovereign citizen extremists”, according to CNN.
The report claims that there have been 24 sovereign citizen attacks in the United States since 2010. According to the report these “extremists” believe they are not bound by the law and will assert their rights on a regular basis when confronted by police. This could be a traffic stop or refusing to obey court orders.
News of the report comes as the Obama Administration is holding a three-day conference analyzing both international and domestic threats from terrorism. According to the report some local and federal law enforcement agencies view the threat from so-called sovereign citizens to be equal or greater to the threat from the Islamic State and similar groups.
The term sovereign citizens has become a catch all term for those who assert their rights and refuse to accept what they see as unjust or immoral orders from police officers or other authorities. There have been several instances of individuals allegedly calling themselves sovereigns shooting or plotting to kill police officers. The report states “law enforcement officers will remain the primary target of (sovereign citizen) violence over the next year.”
“(Sovereign citizen) violence during 2015 will occur most frequently during routine law enforcement encounters at a suspect’s home, during enforcement stops and at government offices.” – DHS Intelligence Report on Domestic Terror
This latest report comes after Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department would revive a task force on domestic terrorism in an attempt to stop violence within the United States. Last Summer, Mr. Holder stated that the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee would work to eliminate the danger from violent individuals who may be motivated by anti-government or racist views. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Division of the Justice Department and the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee are in charge of the efforts. The committee was originally launched to focus on right-wing extremism in the aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
As Americans are waking up to the mass surveillance programs and growing police state around the country, many are pursuing knowledge of their rights when dealing with police officers and government officials. Rather than being violent extremists these are everyday, hard-working Americans who wish to feel safe and secure in their own homes. An increased focus on police violence against unarmed citizens has caused a rift between communities and the authorities. The US governments search for “domestic extremists” is likely to net innocent individuals who are not pursuing violence but rather simply attempting to live free of government interference in their lives.
When governments criminalize innocent actions of free people there will be resistance. When governments propagandize the people to mistrust those who assert their rights, there will be division. Ultimately it is up to each of us to communicate with our neighbors and family members so they understand the difference between those pursuing violence and those attempting to live free.