Sovereign citizens greater terror threat than Islamic groups

Sovereign citizens greater terror threat than Islamic groups

A Sovereign Citizens logo
A Sovereign Citizens logo
A Sovereign Citizens logo

A new study conducted by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) reveals the Sovereign Citizens movement is the greatest terrorist threat our nation faces.

The survey was released on July 30, and names the sovereigns as a bigger threat than even ISIS or the Muslim Brotherhood.

START was funded with an initial $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 additional funding from various federal agencies, private foundations, and universities.

The START study involved in-depth surveys with over 364 officers representing 175 state, local and tribal (SLT) law enforcement agencies to determine the top terror threat to America. The survey, “Understanding Law Enforcement Intelligence Processes,” noted the following:

“The Sovereign Citizen movement was the most highly ranked threat, with 86 percent of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that it was a serious terrorist threat. This is a significant increase in ranking from an earlier survey implemented in 2006-2007, which showed Islamist extremists to be law enforcement’s top concern at the time. In that survey, approximately 67 percent agreed or strongly agreed that Islamist extremists were a serious terrorist threat.”

While the sovereign citizens movement’s position has increased on the terror index other groups have decreased (Islamic terrorists dropped to number two). In 2006-2007 sovereign citizens were listed as the eighth most serious threat and Islamic terror groups were listed as number one on the list.

Sovereign citizens are often included among other right wing extremists groups but their views are unique. They don’t specifically share the supremacist views of groups like the Klan. They don’t focus on individuals (ie…minorities, Jews, etc…) but rather on the dysfunction of the federal government and their abuse of authority. The sovereign’s anti-government views are said to be more akin to left-wing anarchists as opposed to right-wing Klansmen.

Sovereign citizens believe the federal government has no legal authority over them. They often refuse to pay any taxes. They have been known to be involved in fraud schemes like selling fake identity documents and bogus insurance. They also hold seminars teaching others how to operate these schemes.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported in 2011:

“The sovereign-citizen threat likely will grow as the nationwide movement is fueled by the Internet, the economic downturn, and seminars held across the country that spread their ideology and show people how they can tap into funds and eliminate debt through fraudulent methods. As sovereign citizens’ numbers grow, so do the chances of contact with law enforcement and, thus, the risks that incidents will end in violence. Law enforcement and judicial officials must understand the sovereign-citizen movement, be able to identify indicators, and know how to protect themselves from the group’s threatening tactics.”

According to Fox News: “The sovereign citizen movement uses tactics ranging from mischief to violent acts. The movement is traced to the 1980s, when government protesters exploited the farm crisis by selling fraudulent debt relief programs. That morphed into today’s subculture, powered by so-called “paper terrorists” who clog court systems with bogus filings, refuse to pay income taxes and, on occasion, commit violent acts against law enforcement officers.”

In the most extreme cases, sovereigns resort to violence. In 2010, Jerry and Joseph Kane (father and son sovereign citizens) shot and killed two police officers during a traffic stop in Arkansas. Over the past decade there have been seven killings by sovereigns of law enforcement officers. An interactive map, found here, details at least 11 violent encounters in the U.S. by sovereigns against law enforcement officials.

Violent encounters with sovereigns have been somewhat infrequent, as compared to Islamic extremists, but deadly nonetheless. However, according to a leaked seven page report from Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis predicts increased “anti-government violence over the next year,” by groups like the sovereigns.

The report titled “Domestic Violent Extremists Pose a Threat to Government Officials and Law Enforcement” specifically eludes to the recent murders of two Las Vegas law enforcement officers. According to Breitbart; DHS used the following incidents: Alaska militia men, Waffle House plot in Georgia, FEAR militia, LAX shooting, XXX Militia Splinter Group, Bunkerville Ranch, Texas Militia plot, Las Vegas shootings to predict a “growing trend of anti-government violence as compared to the previous four years.”

The DHS reports says: “After years of only sporadic violence from violent domestic extremists motivated by anti-government ideologies, I&A has seen a spike within the past year in violence committed by militia extremists and lone offenders who hold violent anti-government beliefs. These groups and individuals recognize government authority but facilitate or engage in acts of violence due to their perception that the United States Government is tyrannical and oppressive, coupled to their belief that the government needs to be violently resisted or overthrown.”

The violence committed by sovereigns is unacceptable, what’s even more undesirable is the fact that radical Islamic ideology is creeping into our nation. DHS and START should be more concerned with radical Islamic ideology and Sharia creeping into the heartland of the U.S. The threat from Sharia should be considered a bigger threat to our nation because we know that Islamic extremists desire to drown America in blood. Our so-called leaders fail to perceive or even effectively respond to this threat.

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