By Steve Neavling
A leaked FBI report shows the federal government is worried that “black identity extremists” are a violent threat.
The August 2017 assessment by the FBI’s counter-terrorism division claims that “perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.”
The assessment has raised concerns among civil rights activists that black activists will be targets of surveillance.
“When we talk about enemies of the state and terrorists, with that comes an automatic stripping of those people’s rights to speak and protest,” Mohammad Tajsar, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Guardian. “It marginalizes what are legitimate voices within the political debate that are calling for racial and economic justice.”
In a statement to Foreign Policy, the FBI said it cannot initiate an investigation based solely on an individual’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of First Amendment rights.”