Forget Islamic extremists! A consortium of law enforcement agencies ranks sovereign citizens as the highest national security threat.
A consortium of law enforcement intelligence agencies has ranked various terrorist threats in terms of the perception of those that pose the greatest current national security risks. Sovereign citizens topped the list, shifting from Islamic extremists in prior years.
Law enforcement is much more concerned about sovereign citizens, Islamic extremists, and militia/patriot group members compared to the fringe groups of the far right, including Christian Identity believers, reconstructed traditionalists (i.e., Odinists), idiosyncratic sectarians (i.e., survivalists), and members of doomsday cults. In fact, sovereign citizens were the top concern of law enforcement, but 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).
That's troubling, especially when considered in terms of the extremists threatening abortion doctors and clinics around the nation. This, too, concerns me:
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.
I would argue that there's very little daylight between the self-dubbed sovereign citizens like Cliven Bundy and the groups they mention in the first paragraph. I think it's a mistake to separate the two and pretend there's no overlap, particularly in the context of law enforcement agency perceptions.
60 Minutes' Byron Pitt had a superb segment last night on the sovereign citizens movement, springboarding from the tragic case of Jerry and Joe Kane, two sovereign citizens who mowed down a couple of West Memphis, Arkansas, police officers Read more...
While much of the media attention, driven by congressional hearings, on terrorism issues focused this week on events in Libya, there was another Senate hearing that took a good look at terrorism on our own shores.
Chaired by Sen. Dick Durbin, Read more...