Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wire: Homeland Security Issues, Then Nixes "Extremism" Dictionary

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

Official questions how DHS determines what intelligence is distributed to law enforcement.

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2009 -- Newswires reported this morning that the same Homeland Security Department office that categorized U.S. military veterans as potential terrorists issued an earlier report that defined dozens of "extremists" ranging from black power activists to abortion foes.

The report was nixed within hours and recalled from state and local law enforcement officials.

The Washington Times reported that whites and blacks, Christians and Jews, Cubans and Mexicans, along with tax-hating Americans were among several political leanings listed in the "Domestic Extremism Lexicon" that came out of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) in late March.

The dictionary lists definitions for key terms and phrases used by Department of Homeland Security analysts "that addresses the nature and scope of the threat that domestic, non-Islamic extremism poses to the United States," the report said.

The Washington Times noted the following details:
Black separatism was defined as a movement that they said advocates the establishment of a separate nation within the U.S., and its members "advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence directed toward local law enforcement" to advance their goals. Black power is a "term used by black separatists to describe their pride in, and the perceived superiority of the black race," the report said.

Under the listing "antiabortion extremism," the lexicon cites a movement that "advocates violence against providers of abortion-related services." It notes that some people in the movement "cite various racist and anti-Semitic beliefs to justify their criminal activities."
A ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the report "causes further concern that Congress needs to get to the bottom of exactly how DHS determines what intelligence products to distribute to law enforcement officials around the country."
The latest report to become public, the lexicon on domestic extremism, stated that people involved with anti-immigration extremism "may have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism to advance their extremist goals."

"They are highly critical of the U.S. government's response to illegal immigration and oppose government programs that are designed to extend 'rights' to illegal aliens, such as issuing driver's licenses or national identification cards and providing in-state tuition, medical benefits, or public education."
DHS reports consistently define a "left-wing extremist" as someone who opposes war or is dedicated to environmental and animal rights causes, while a "right-wing extremist" is someone who is against abortion or for border enforcement.

The same "right-wing" definition appeared in a report last month that prompted an outcry in the veterans community for also suggesting that veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were targets for extremist groups to recruit for attacks against the U.S, the Washington Times noted.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: Homeland agency pulled back extremism dictionary

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