This joint DHS and FBI Assessment examines the possible reasons why anarchist extremist attacks in certain countries abroad and in the United States differ in the frequency of incidents and degree of lethality employed in order to determine ways US anarchist extremists actions might become more lethal in the future. This Assessment is intended to establish a baseline comparison of the US and foreign anarchist extremist movements and create new lines of research; follow-on assessments will update the findings identified in the paper, to include the breadth of data after the end of the reporting period (as warranted by new information), and identify new areas for DHS and FBI collaboration on the topic. This Assessment is also produced in anticipation of a heightened threat of anarchist extremist violence in 2016 related to the upcoming Democratic and Republican National Conventions—events historically associated with violence from the movement.
(U//LES) DHS-FBI Bulletin: Domestic Extremists Arrested for Illegal Occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) is intended to provide information on the recent arrest of 11 domestic extremists for conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through force, intimidation, or threats, in violation of 18 USC §372. This JIB is provided by the FBI and DHS to support their respective activities and to assist federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials in deterring, preventing, or disrupting terrorist attacks against the United States. As in any criminal case, defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Recent events surrounding the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Harney County Oregon, have culminated in the fatal confrontation of Northern Arizona rancher, LaVoy Finicum. His funeral services will be held on 05 FEB 2016, in Kanab, UT. Finicum will be buried on 06 FEB 2016, close to his Arizona ranch in Cane Beds, AZ. While no credible threats to law enforcement are present at this time, armed extremists are expected to travel through UT; some of which may see this event as a tipping point, and potentially shift toward more violent action. A number of individuals, several of whom were present at the Burns, OR occupation, are planning caravans from UT and NV to travel to the funeral in show of support.
Militia extremists are expanding their target sets to include Muslims and Islamic religious institutions in the United States. This has resulted in increased violent rhetoric and plotting and has the potential to lead, over the long term, to additional harassment of or violence against Muslims by domestic extremists. The FBI makes these assessments with high confidence on the basis of a large body of source reporting generated mainly since 2013. This information augments prior FBI analysis that established militia extremists target government personnel and law enforcement officers, perceived threats from abroad, and individuals or institutions that seek to constrain Second Amendment rights.
DoJ Community Oriented Policing Services Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Violent Extremism Awareness Briefs
Online radicalization to violence is the process by which an individual is introduced to an ideological message and belief system that encourages movement from mainstream beliefs toward extreme views, primarily through the use of online media, including social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. A result of radical interpretations of mainstream religious or political doctrines, these extreme views tend to justify, promote, incite, or support violence to achieve any number of social, religious, or political changes.
A joint intelligence bulletin released by the Department of Homeland Security and FBI to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing warns that “domestic extremism will remain a persistent threat through the end of 2015 and beyond” with “high confidence that lone offenders and those who pursue leaderless resistance continue to pose the greatest threat of violence.” The bulletin, which is based on “recent patterns of extremist activity” often “taken by those who plan and act alone or in small cells,” states that domestic extremism “remains a persistent threat, and the United States has experienced violent ideologically-motivated criminal acts, both prior to and after the Oklahoma City attack” including “assaults, arsons, shootings, and use, or attempted use, of improvised incendiary and explosive devices, resulting in death, injury, and property damage.” Moreover, the bulletin states that “many of the same motivations used by domestic extremists to justify their criminal acts in the mid-1990s—anti-government and anti-law enforcement sentiment; racial, ethnic, and religious hatred; and advocacy of violent conspiracy theories—continue to influence domestic extremists and their targeting choices in 2015.”
(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Bulletin: Twenty Years After Oklahoma City Bombing, Domestic Extremism Remains a Persistent Threat
This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) prepared by the FBI and DHS is intended to provide law enforcement with a summary of significant domestic extremist incidents occurring during the previous 15 months. This product highlights the breadth and frequency of current domestic extremist threats against Homeland targets, and places them in the context of the 20th anniversary of the1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This information is provided to support the activities of the FBI and DHS and to assist other federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial counterterrorism and law enforcement officials and private sector security officials in identifying existing or emerging threats to homeland security.
Walter Bond’s path to animal rights extremism was driven by witnessing what he perceived as animal abuse and by frustration stemming from his perception that lawful, nonviolent actions appeared to have little impact on advancing the goals of the animal rights movement.* Prior to becoming violent to advance animal rights, Bond showed a tendency to use violence to advance other beliefs, such as protesting illicit drug sales by committing arson against a drug trafficker’s home and protesting against religion by burning a pentagram symbol inside a church.
(U//LES) State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) Program: Terrorism Training for Law Enforcement
Eight presentations used in the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) program for law enforcement, which is supported by grants from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Sovereign citizens believe the government is operating outside of its jurisdiction and generally do not recognize federal, state, or local laws, policies, or governmental regulations. They subscribe to a number of conspiracy theories, including a prevalent theory which states the United States Government (USG) became bankrupt and began using citizens as collateral in trade agreements with foreign governments. They believe secret bank accounts exist at the United States (US) Department of the Treasury. These accounts can be accessed using Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Universal Commercial Code (UCC), and fraudulent financial documents.
An updated version of a 2009 “Domestic Extremism Lexicon” produced by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis. The list of terms has been substantially reduced and does not include a number of controversial terms from the first version, such as “alternative media” and “direct action.”
Law enforcement and government officials for decades have understood the critical importance of building relationships, based on trust, with the communities they serve. Partnerships are vital to address a range of challenges and must have as their foundation a genuine commitment on the part of law enforcement and government to address community needs and concerns, including protecting rights and public safety. In our efforts to counter violent extremism, we will rely on existing partnerships that communities have forged with Federal, State, and local government agencies. This reliance, however, must not change the nature or purpose of existing relationships. In many instances, our partnerships and related activities were not created for national security purposes but nonetheless have an indirect impact on countering violent extremism (CVE).
A bulletin to local businesses from the City of London Police warning of possible extremist/terrorist threats arising from the Occupy London protests.
(U//FOUO) National Counterterrorism Center Mobilizing Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) Behavioral Indicators
A US Government interagency study of homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) revealed four major mobilizing patterns shared by a majority of HVE cases between 2008 and 2010, providing officials with an emerging picture of distinct behaviors often associated with an individual mobilizing for violence. These four patterns—links to known extremists, ideological commitment to extremism, international travel, and pursuit of weapons and associated training—repeatedly appeared in the case studies, reinforcing initial assessments of potential trends. Awareness of the patterns can help combat the recent rise in these cases while providing a data-driven tool for assessing potential changes in the HVE threat to the Homeland.
This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) updates a DHS-FBI joint analytic product of the same title dated 3 September 2010 and is intended to provide warning and perspective regarding the scope of the potential terrorist threats to the United States, specifically towards US persons. This product is provided to support the activities of DHS and FBI and to help federal, state, and local government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks directed against the United States.
Throughout history, violent extremists—individuals who support or commit ideologically-motivated violence to further political goals—have promoted messages of divisiveness and justified the killing of innocents. The United States Constitution recognizes freedom of expression, even for individuals who espouse unpopular or even hateful views. But when individuals or groups choose to further their grievances or ideologies through violence, by engaging in violence themselves or by recruiting and encouraging others to do so, it becomes the collective responsibility of the U.S. Government and the American people to take a stand. In recent history, our country has faced plots by neo-Nazis and other anti-Semitic hate groups, racial supremacists, and international and domestic terrorist groups; and since the September 11 attacks, we have faced an expanded range of plots and attacks in the United States inspired or directed by al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents as well as other violent extremists. Supporters of these groups and their associated ideologies come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnic and religious communities, and areas of the country, making it difficult to predict where violent extremist narratives will resonate. And as history has shown, the prevalence of particular violent extremist ideologies changes over time, and new threats will undoubtedly arise in the future.
Insiders often possess detailed operational and system-security knowledge, as well as authorized physical and systems access to utilities. Insiders can be employees, contractors, service providers, or anyone with legitimate access to utility systems. They often are self-motivated, know system security measures, and raise no alarms due to their authorized systems access. With knowledge of and access to a utility’s network, malicious actors could seize control of utility systems or corrupt information sent to plant operators, causing damage to plant systems and equipment. Systems and networks used by utilities are potential targets for a variety of malicious cyber actors. Threat actors who target these systems may be intent on damaging equipment and facilities, disrupting services, stealing proprietary information, or other malicious activities. The greater the individual’s knowledge and authorized systems access, the greater risk the individual poses. Furthermore, any individual with access to a plant’s systems could unwittingly or inadvertently introduce malware into a system through portable media or by falling victim to socially engineered e-mails.
The DBT Report is a stand-alone threat analysis to be used with the Physical Security Criteria for Federal Facilities: An ISC Standard. The document establishes a profile of the type, composition, and capabilities of adversaries, and it is also designed to correlate with the countermeasures in the compendium of standards and to be easily updated as needed. The DBT is an estimate of the threats that face Federal facilities across a range of undesirable events and based on the best intelligence information, Intelligence Community (IC) reports and assessments, and crime statistics available to the working group at the time of publication. Users of the DBT must consider that undiscovered plots may exist, adversaries are always searching for new methods and tactics to overcome security measures, and the lone-wolf adversary remains largely unpredictable.
The National Socialist Movement (NSM) USPER is the most active neo-Nazi group operating in the United States. It has grown from a small organization with a limited following confined to the mid-western United States to the preeminent National Socialist group in the nation. Despite having recently suffered a defection of several regional leaders, NSM remains an influential force within white supremacist circles and the only major racist group that eschews all attempts to distance its methods and objectives from those of the Third Reich. NSM has a reputation for conducting numerous public rallies that have triggered a violent response, including a riot in Toledo, Ohio, in October 2005.
The Vigilance Project is a comprehensive, analytic report that examines major terrorism cases that have taken place against the Homeland since September 11, 2001. The report serves as a historical compilation of acts or attempted acts of terrorism against the United States, or its interests, and as a tool to identify trends and commonalities among the cases and the subjects involved. It is recognized that the threat environment is dynamic and potential threats are not limited to the findings contained in this report. As the title suggests, it is the duty of every citizen to remain vigilant in the face of terrorism. The findings of this report allow readers to gain an understanding of terrorism participants, their tactics and procedures, and become aware of similarities among the cases, in order to draw useful conclusions. The ultimate goal of the Vigilance Project is to provide useful information to law enforcement partners to support their role in preventing the next attack.
As the President said in his State of the Union address, in the face of violent extremism, “we are responding with the strength of our communities.” A vast majority of people in every American community resoundingly reject violence, and this certainly includes the violent, al-Qaeda-style ideology that claims to launch attacks in the name of their widely rejected version of Islam. We must use these facts as a tool against the threat of homegrown violent extremism. In conjunction with these communities and with the Department of Justice and the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment, we have published guidance on best practices for community partnerships, which has been distributed to local law enforcement across the country. DHS also holds regular regional meetings – which include state and local law enforcement, state and local governments, and community organizations – in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis. These regional meetings have enabled participants to provide and receive feedback on successful community-oriented policing and other programs aimed at preventing violence.
Domestic Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Threat Overview from July 2008.
Several restricted documents produced by the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange (CFIX) and obtained by Public Intelligence indicate that a variety of protests and political events are monitored by the regional fusion center for potential threats and violent activity. These events span the political spectrum from a summit hosted by Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty to anti-war protests conducted by Code Pink and Veterans for Peace. While the documents make no mention of specific threats arising from the events, they do indicate that the fusion center monitors political action in a variety of forms and sometimes requests law enforcement officers to report on constitutionally-protected activities.