Politics

FBI Under Fire After Asking Americans To Report Friends, Family For ‘Suspicious Behavior’

On Sunday, the FBI sparked a great deal of blowback on Twitter after it issued a tweet asking Americans to report friends and family for “suspicious behavior,” Twitchy reported.

Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism. Visit go.usa.gov/x6mjf to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI,” the tweet read.

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This, after the agency seized a Lego model of the U.S. Capitol to use as “evidence” against a January 6 participant.

Naturally, the tweet didn’t sit too well with many.

Indeed…

Sure seems like it…

Good question.

The link in the FBI’s tweet goes to a document titled “Homegrown Violent Extremist Mobilization Indicators, 2019 Edition,” which was published long before the January 6 riots.  The document seems to focus on those radicalized by overseas terrorist groups like al Qaeda and ISIS, and notes:

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) emphasize that many of the indicators described herein may involve constitutionally protected activities and might be insignificant on their own. However, when observed in combination with other suspicious behaviors, these indicators may raise suspicion in a reasonable person and constitute a basis for reporting. Law enforcement action should not be taken solely based on the exercise of constitutionally protected rights, or on the apparent or actual race, ethnicity, national origin or religion of the subject, or on any combination of these factors. Individuals are encouraged to contact law enforcement if, based on these indicators and the situational context, they suspect an individual is mobilizing to violence.

It would’ve helped if the FBI let people know they were referring to actual overseas terrorist groups in its tweet, but they didn’t.  Instead, all they managed to do was reinforce the notion that the agency is going after anyone who opposes the current regime in the White House.

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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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