Leaked FBI documents indicate "black identity extremists" and animal rights activists are among the agency's top counterterrorism priorities under President Donald Trump.
The FBI's priority list documents, obtained by The Young Turks Thursday, lay out the Bureau's 2018 fiscal year focal points in counterterrorism, cyber crime and counterintelligence.
The 2018-19 "Threat Guidance" documents describe black identity extremists (BIEs) as those who "use force or violence in violation of criminal law in response to perceived racism and injustice in American society." The files claimed some BIEs acted in hopes of "establishing a separate black homeland or autonomous black social institutions, communities or governing organizations within the USA."
An internal FBI report from August 2017 was widely criticized for using the BIE label, which many called racist. But the Consolidated Strategy Guide documents leaked this week show the FBI kept the term and made BIEs one of its top counterterrorism priorities.
Under the Trump administration, they're considered a bigger threat than terror groups such as Al Qaeda.
"Animal rights/environmental extremists" and "anti-authority extremists" were also deemed top existential threats.
Under a cryptic strategy titled "IRON FIST," the leaked documents suggest the Bureau plans to use infiltration and other undercover techniques to "mitigate" threats posed by black extremist groups, including exploiting the felony status of some members.
Other language labels black extremists as racist themselves.
"Likely to target civilian and government entities that are perceived as oppressors, including, but not limited to, law enforcement officers, the U.S. government, members of rival BSE [Black Supremacist Extremists] groups, and individuals based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion," read one section called "Key Domain Entities."
The documents show the FBI wrongly projected there would be "attrition" and declining membership within white supremacist and nationalist extremist movements over the past few years.
And in reference to white supremacy, the documents read, "Some RMVEs [Racially Motivated Violent Extremists] are driven by a belief in the superiority of the white race and a perception that the U.S. government is conspiring with Jews and minority populations to bring about the race's demise," the 2020 threat guidance documents state. (The FBI has also begun using "Racially Motivated Extremism" as a watered-down label for white nationalists groups.)
In the documents leaked to The Young Turks, the FBI sought to lower the "threat impact" by BIEs and identify who is recruiting or facilitating for such groups in the U.S.
"The FBI judges some RMVE perceptions of police brutality against African Americans served as justification for premeditated, retaliatory violence against law enforcement in 2016."