Civil Liberties Groups Across America are Enraged Over Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New Tactics to Prevent Terrorism
The FBI is expanding their operation and looking to enlist religious leaders, social workers, mental health professionals, and leaders in local communities in order to prevent terrorism, North Jersey’s The Record reports.
The plan is to establish a network of Shared Responsibility Committees (or SRCs) across America that would keep an eye out for potential rabble-rousers, a 4 page FBI letter acquired by the Intercept implies.
The document states “the primary goal of an SRC intervention is disengagement,” and the “FBI’s primary objectives in referring an individual to the SRC are to enable community partners to develop community-led multidisciplinary solutions and to build community resilience and foster greater community trust, while also fulfilling the FBI’s national security and public safety responsibilities.”
Some of these solutions decided by the committee may include “mentoring support, life skills, anger management, cognitive or behavioral therapies, constructive pursuits, education skills, career building and support, family support, health awareness, housing support, drug and alcohol awareness and treatment, engagement and exposure with perceived adversaries, and mental health care.”
Civil-liberties groups and Muslims are upset over the FBI’s connection to the committee, predicting that SRCs will become “government informants,” and that “private conversations could become part of criminal investigations.”
Law enforcement officials believe the organization is justified, claiming, “it targets not just Muslim extremists but also people influenced by U.S.-based extremist groups, and it seeks to help people before they turn to violence.”
How does the FBI intend to identify individuals who need rehabilitation? Local police forces across America are acquiring Real Time Crime Centers (RTCC) which use a “citizen ranking” system that compiles data from social media, smartphones and even pizza deliveries to compute your threat score.
The FBI has adopted a similar style of policing using a “$1 billion Next Generation Identification project, which is creating a trove of fingerprints, iris scans, data from facial recognition software and other sources that aid local departments in identifying suspects,” The Washington Post reports.
The FBI does not consider these community groups a form of “government spying,” since they may not see every incident. An FBI official interviewed by The Record stated, “I don’t think it’s spying by the government because some of this stuff may never arise to us.”
The FBI document claims that these committees will not be used “as a means to gather intelligence,” however, it also makes a few clear contradictions to this claim throughout the rest of the document.
For example, the letter explains, “the SRC can, but will not be required to, inform the FBI of an individual’s progress throughout the course of the program.” So what happens to the information that is voluntarily given up? The FBI document forewarns that, “the FBI may share any information the SRC provides with other law enforcement agencies, members of the U.S. Intelligence Community, and foreign government agencies as needed.”
SRC members are required to “immediately notify the FBI of any civil, administrative, or criminal claim, complaint, discovery request, or other request for information of which the SRC member receives notice, concerning or arising from any FBI referral or otherwise relating to any FBI referral,” indulging the FBI with intelligence they’ve gathered.
“The community sees problems first. When the FBI sees it, it’s too late. If the community can be empowered to take over, it will save us time in the end [instead of] having to arrest people,” an FBI official told North Jersey‘s The Record. Justifying the pre-crime tactics by SRCs, the agent said, “We want to get to him when he’s 16 and not 20 and shooting up a place.”