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Homeland Security Focuses on American Citizens Who Are “Reverant of Individual Liberty”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A recent study funded by the Department of Homeland Security identifies potential threats to national security as including Americans who are “reverent of individual liberty” and “suspicious of centralized federal authority.”

The study was produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland, an organization launched with the aid of $12 million of DHS funding.

Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States essentially omits Islamic terrorism, failing to even mention the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and focuses on Americans with conservative and libertarian beliefs. Islamic radicals are barely mentioned while individuals and groups that reflect the majority view of America at large are placed in the category of radical extremism.

The new report derived its definitions from a 2011 study entitled Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism, produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. That report, also used by DHS, identifies the following characteristics to recognize potential homegrown terrorists:

  • Americans who believe their way of life is under attack.
    Americans who are fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation).
  • People who consider themselves “anti-global”.
  • Americans who are suspicious of centralized federal authority.
  • Americans who are reverent of individual liberty.
  • People who believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.
  • People opposed to abortion.

Over the last few years, the Department of Homeland Security has taken part in producing a large body of literature that depicts advocates of limited government as terrorists. The most glaring example is a 2009 report, published by the Missouri Information Analysis Center, which framed Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, people who own gold or even people who fly a U.S. flag, as potential terrorists.

Such targeting of Americans is not limited to DHS. The FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism program warns that citizens who purchase bulk food or show an interest in web privacy when using the Internet in a public place are possible terrorists.

As part of its ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign, the Department of Homeland Security educates the public that generic activities performed by millions of people every day, including using a video camera, talking to police officers, wearing hoodies, driving vans, writing on a piece of paper, and using a cell phone recording application,” are all potential signs of terrorist activity.

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