By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
While the nation was focused on a controversial document that categorized veterans as potential terrorists, the Department of Homeland Security also issued a “Lexicon” of extremism that included everything from black power activists to abortion foes. The list was reportedly nixed within hours and recalled from state and local law enforcement officials.
In a report appearing in the Washington Times, the “Domestic Extremism Lexicon” was issued in late March and listed defnitions for key terms and phrases used by Homeland Security analysts that “address the nature and scope of the threat that domestic, non-Islamic extremism poses to the United States.”
Included on the list were Blacks, Christians, Jews, Cubans, Mexicans and Americans who prefer state over federal governance.
Under the listing “antiabortion extremism,” the lexicon cites a movement that “advocates violence against providers of abortion-related services.” It notes that some people in the movement “cite various racist and anti-Semitic beliefs to justify their criminal activities.”
According to Amy Kudwa, a Homeland Security spokeswoman, the lexicon “was recalled as soon as management discovered it had been released without authorization. This product is not, nor was it ever, in operational use.”
Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the report “causes further concern that Congress needs to get to the bottom of exactly how DHS determines what intelligence products to distribute to law enforcement officials around the country.”
“Although we have evidence that some of the groups described in this and other DHS intelligence products are an active terror threat to our nation, I would be interested in knowing why this lexicon mentioning left-wing extremist groups was deemed inappropriate by DHS and recalled, yet a similar report focusing on veterans, antiabortion activists and anti-illegal immigration activists was fit for distribution and sent out by DHS to law enforcement agencies across the country,” Mr. King said.
In the 11 page Lexicon, a “left-wing extremist” is described as someone who opposes war or is dedicated to environmental and animal rights causes, while a “right-wing extremist” is someone who is against abortion or for border enforcement.
This same “right-wing extremist” definition appeared in a similar report issued last month that said veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were targets for extremist groups to recruit for attacks against the U.S. This report was not recalled, although DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano publicly apologized for the language and the fact that the report was released before it was ready for distribution.
Roger Mackin, the man ultimately responsible for the report(s), was replaced late last month although Ms. Kudwa claims it had nothing to do with the reports.
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