By the Department of Homeland Security’s standards, anyone who just celebrated the Fourth of July can be capable of terrorism. A new study by the DHS states that “those who are reverent of individual liberty” may promote terrorism.
The study and related data were recently produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, or START, at the University of Maryland. START was launched with a $12 million grant from DHS and is recognized by the organization as one of its “Centers for Excellence.” In December, DHS announced it was renewing START’s funding with another $3.6 million.
The study, entitled “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970-2008,” makes a number of observations, including that one third of all terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2008 took place in five metropolitan counties run by Democrats. The report breaks down the terrorist attacks between the counties, and separates them according to lists based on ideologies, ranging from right-wing and left-wing to religious and single issue.
START defines “left-wing” as anyone who wants “to bring about change through violent revolution rather than through established political process. This category also includes secular left-wing groups that rely heavily on terrorism to overthrow the capitalist system and either establish ‘a dictatorship of the proletariat’ (Maxist-Leninists) or, much more rarely, a decentralized, non-hierarchical political system (anarchists).”
It defines “right-wing” as one who “believes that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent.” It states that right-wing terrorists include those who revere liberty and are suspicious of a centralized government.
It also defines potential terrorists as those interested in forcing religion into the political sphere and and those opposed to abortion. WND notes, “This is not the first time a government report has listed conservative groups such as evangelical Christians and tea-party members as potential terrorists.”
A 2009 DHS security report issued harsh warnings against unnamed right-wing terrorists, which the DHS defined as those who were opposed to abortion, and were concerned about illegal immigration, an increase in federal power, firearms restrictions, and a loss of American sovereignty.
The report, titled “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” dated April 7, states that “threats from white supremacist and violent anti-government groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts.”
The report from the DHS's Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines right-wing extremism in the United States as “divided into those groups, movements and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups) and those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”
“The consequences of a prolonged economic downturn — including real estate foreclosures, unemployment and an inability to obtain credit — could create a fertile recruiting environment for right-wing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past,” the 2009 report noted.
It added that “growth in these groups subsided in reaction to increased government scrutiny as a result of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and disrupted plots, improvements in the economy and the continued U.S. standing as the pre-eminent world power.”
Similarly, a 2009 report by the Missouri Information Analysis Center labeled those who have bumper stickers for third-party political candidates such as Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin as suspicious individuals. It further warned law enforcement to watch out for individuals with “radical” ideologies based on Christian views, such as opposing illegal immigration, abortion, and federal taxes.
Americans for Legal Immigration stated, “Police were instructed to look for Americans who were concerned about unemployment, taxes, illegal immigration, gangs, border security, abortion, high costs of living, gun restrictions, FEMA, the IRS, The Federal Reserve, and the North American Union/SPP/North American Community. The ‘Missouri Documents’ also said potential domestic terrorists might like gun shows, short wave radios, combat movies, movies with white male heroes, Tom Clancy novels, and Presidential Candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin!”
The FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism program labels those who purchase food in bulk as possible terrorists, as well as those who use cash to purchase items and show interest in using the Internet in public places.
The federal government has been wide-ranging in its use of the “terrorist” label. But START has defended its 2012 report by asserting that unlike previous reports that have labeled members of groups such as the Tea Party as terrorists, its study refers only to those who have actually committed terrorist acts.
But while the report identifies seemingly average Americans as potential terrorists, it completely ignores any references to Islamic terrorism. In fact, its table displaying the “hot spots” for religious terrorism indicates that there was no such terrorism in New York City in the 1990s — totally disregarding the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in that city.
PJ Media also observes that the report conveniently leaves out the 1994 shooting by admitted anti-Semite Rashid Baz that resulted in the death of 16-year-old Jewish student Ari Halberstam and the attempted murder of dozens more on the Brooklyn Bridge. Baz admitted he shot Halberstam because he was Jewish.
It also ignores the 2002 shooting at the El Al (Israel's national airline) ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport by Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, who murdered two and wounded four others. Hadayet was later confirmed by the FBI and DOJ to be an Egyptian terrorist who wanted to be a Muslim martyr.
WND also notes, “By cutting the report off at 2007, it was able to omit events such as the Fort Hood massacre by Maj. Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people and wounded 29 others, and the Little Rock Army recruiting center, where a Muslim convert shot soldiers in front of a recruiting office.”
Critics note that this new DHS study is yet another example of political correctness run amok, as patriotic Americans are unfairly labeled as terrorist threats even as legitimate threats go unmentioned.