The 2014 shooting of Michael Brown at Ferguson, Mo., has spawned a violent domestic threat from “black identity extremists” who have stepped up attacks on police, according to an explosive new report from the FBI’s counterterrorism division.
The warning, first reported by Foreign Policy magazine, states that “it’s extremely likely BIEs proactively target police and publicly identify and justify their activities with social-political agendas commensurate with their perceived injustices against African Americans …”
Brown, an African-American 18-year-old, was shot in August 2014 after struggling with white police officer Darren Wilson. Although Brown’s supporters claimed it was a case of police brutality, Wilson was cleared of wrongdoing and resigned in November 2014.
The shooting led to protests in Ferguson that spread to other parts of the country. It gained additional momentum after subsequent charged police shootings, spurred on through networking and the group Black Lives Matter.
The FBI report stated that the agency previously had examined the possibility of violence before it appeared in the record, a term that was unknown, of identity extremism. What’s changed, according to the report, is that violence has now actually occurred and is ‘likely” to continue.
“It is extremely likely that BIEs’ perceptions of treatment of African-Americans and the unchallenged activities of law enforcement will inspire attacks against law enforcement the report stated. “It is extremely likely controversial police shootings of African-Americans and the associated proceedings will continue to serve against law enforcement. ”
Attacks in which police officers are targeted have been on the rise. The most high-profile such episode occurred in Dallas, when a gunman named Micah Johnson hid in a parking garage and fired on 11 police officers, killing five of them, during a protest against officer-involved shootings. The FBI report noted that Johnson referred to anger over police shootings and as what drove the five police officers to be killed by him toward whites.
The FBI report drew on accusations of racial profiling.
DeRay Mckesson of Black Lives Matter told The Guardian the terrorism report echoes the days when FBI monitored activist groups including the NAACP and people that opposed wars.
“We knew that we were being watched,” stated Mckesson, a critic of government monitoriing of protest groups. “This is evidence that the work of social justice continues to threaten those in power. ”
The Guardian also quoted an unnamed source it explained only as a former senior officer from the Department of Homeland Security stating that the group “black identity extremist” was troubling.
“This is a new umbrella designation that has no basis,” the source is quoted as saying. “There are civil rights and privacy issues all over this.”
But others say that the FBI is correctly sounding an alarm about a trend.
“It’s not racial profiling, it’s violence profiling,” said Scott Walter, president of Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank, told Fox News. “Identity politics can kill, whether it’s white identity politics, which killed in Charlottesville, or black identity politics, which kills cops.”
“We have to be able to distinguish between free speech and violence,” Walter said. ” [Many] longtime [black] activist groups were not obsessed with voilence.”
Randy Sutton, a Las Vegas law enforcement officer who now is the spokesman for Blue Lives Matter, told Fox News that the FBI report makes official what he and others in police work have been observing in recent years.
“Nobody is saying anything negative about protests,” Sutton said, “Protesting is everyone’s right. This is about commiting acts of violence. Many Black Lives Matter protests call for violence against police, with chants like ‘What do we want?’ and ‘Dead cops!’ It’s terrorism, and it’s no different than Islamic terrorism.”
Sutton said the rising number of ambush attacks on police has had a chilling impact.
“Police are not being as aggressive because of the political climate,” he said. “There’s been a dramatic decrease in proactive policing.”
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