Sovereign citizens seen as top terrorist threat by US law enforcement

The sovereign citizen motion is taken into account the top threat for home terrorism, in response to a survey of state, native, and tribal law enforcement companies.

Islamist extremists and militia/patriot teams spherical out the top three threats to communities within the United States thought of most critical by 364 officers of 175 state, native, and tribal law enforcement entities, in response to a survey performed by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).

The survey – “Understanding Law Enforcement Intelligence Processes” – discovered that “52 percent of respondents agreed and 34 percent strongly agreed that sovereign citizens were a serious terrorist threat” as against 39 % of respondents who agreed and 28 % who strongly agreed that Islamic extremists had been essentially the most critical threat.

A earlier pattern on terror threats taken in 2006-2007 discovered that sovereign citizens had been the eighth-most critical threat to non-federal law enforcement. Islamic extremists led that survey’s threat index.

The newest survey discovered that whereas sovereign citizens as a complete have moved into the top place total, the threat posed by many particular person teams which might be thought of a part of the broad motion has decreased because the earlier survey.

“[A]lthough estimates about some groups were a serious terrorist threat increased comparing the two time periods, (e.g., Left-Wing Revolutionaries; Extreme Anti-Abortion Extremists), the concern about whether most groups were a serious terrorist threat actually declined for most groups (e.g., the KKK; Christian Identity; Neo-Nazis; Racist Skinheads; Extremist Environmentalists; Extreme Animal Rights Extremists).”

The decline of a few of these particular person teams stunned researchers.

“The change is interesting as there was significant concern about the resurgence of the radical far right (as evidenced by the 2006 – 07 survey, as well as additional concerns raised after the 2008 election of President Barack Obama), but it appears as though law enforcement is, at present, less concerned about these groups,” they wrote.

As for the generalized time period, “sovereign citizen movement,” the researchers say that whereas it’s usually related to right-wing teams, the ideology of sovereign citizens doesn’t all the time match with the affiliation.

“Although most organizations group Sovereign Citizens with other right wing groups, they are quite unique. Sovereigns do not specifically share the ‘supremacist’ views of the Klan, etc. Their focus is not on individuals (e.g., minorities, Jews, etc.) rather their focus is on government dysfunction and abuse of authority. Their anti-government ideology is arguably more akin to left wing anarchists than right wing Klansmen.”

The survey discovered that cyberterrorism is perceived by officers as the more than likely terrorism-related crime. Conventional Explosive Devices was thought of second most-likely.

START researchers particularly requested the law enforcement officers “the threat of terrorism; the nature of information-sharing; and whether agencies are prepared to deal with terrorist attacks.”

“Identifying and prioritizing a threat is akin to hitting a moving target and evolves as new intelligence, data, and events develop,” START’s David Carter mentioned. “Law enforcement must be steadfast in identifying major concerns, substantiating the concerns, providing products and resources to better understand the nature of the threat, and supporting efforts to respond to such concerns.”

The officers surveyed mentioned essentially the most helpful law enforcement entities in combating terrorism embody state/native fusion facilities, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force(s), the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

In addition, the officers mentioned that essentially the most priceless open-source supplies they use to collect info are the Internet, human intelligence sources, and the media.

START was funded with an preliminary $12 million grant from the US Department of Homeland Security in 2005. The grant was renewed in 2008. It is supported by the US Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and receives extra funding from numerous federal companies, non-public foundations, and universities.