DHS Paints MAGA, Military and Religious As Terror Risk

(IntegrityPress.org) – An report penned by an advisory board within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has labelled those with military service, religious people, and supporters of Donald Trump as being possible terror threats.

The Homeland Intelligence Experts Group was established in September 2023 ostensibly to provide professional analysis on various threats to the U.S., such as opioid trafficking and terrorist violence. Notably, the board has three high-level figures from the intelligence community who all co-signed the October 2020 letter characterizing the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation.

Former CIA Operations Officer Paul Kolbe, former Director of CIA John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence John Clapper all added the weight of their reputations to the letter that dismissed the legitimacy of the laptop and its controversial contents shortly before the 2020 presidential election.

America First Legal (AFL), the group that managed to gain access to the advisory board’s report, has criticized the report and its authors. AFL’s Executive Director Gene Hamilton blasted the “unabashed partisanship” on display, adding that the report shows an effort to unfairly target conservatives. The report featured various pieces of advice from unnamed researchers, including the assertion that military service is an “indicator” of “extremism and terrorism”. This contradicts a 2023 finding by the non-profit RAND organization that found military personnel to be less likely to hold extremist views.

The DHS report also suggested building on the post-9/11 anti-terror “See Something, Say Something” campaign by encouraging mothers and schoolteachers to report on children suspected of harboring extreme views. The authors acknowledged that Americans are not generally enthusiastic about “telling on each other”, and so recommended using reasons of “public health” as a method to encourage reporting on children.

Whether or not any recommendations from the report will be implemented is unclear. The advisory board was shut down by DHS in May 2024 following a lawsuit instigated by AFL and former Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell. The lawsuit focused on allegations that the board’s operation was in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act but was dropped by the plaintiffs following an agreement to permanently dismantle the board.

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