The Amplifying Local Efforts to Root out Terrorism Act of 2016

Secretive legislation ‘designed’ to help local law enforcement fight terrorism with the aid of the federal government has been introduced. H.R. 4401, the Amplifying Local Efforts to Root out Terrorism (ALERT) Act of 2016, allows “federal law enforcement to train and work closely with state and local law enforcement in using the most effective tactics and methods to counter terrorism.”

This legislation was passed by the House Homeland Security Committee on a voice vote, and has the support of 11 bipartisan cosponsors — including five Democrats and six Republicans.

But there’s more to this including terms within this bill that must be highlighted. For instance, the term “violent extremism” means “ideologically motivated international terrorism or domestic terrorism,” as defined in section 2331 of title 18, United States Code.

“International terrorism” reads the section, is “activities that involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State.” Furthermore, the term “domestic terrorism” means “activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State.

Both involve an act to “appear to be intended” (which means to give the impression of being in a certain way) to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.”  But then the federal government’s view of “ideology” as shown in the U.S. Air Force’s July 2011 ‘0910 Equal Opportunity and Treatment Incidents’ lesson plan remains questionable:

“As noted, an ideology is a set of political beliefs about the nature of people and society. People who are committed to an ideology seek not only to persuade but to recruit others to their belief. In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”

Finally, there’s the 2012 document, “Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism,” produced by the ‘National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism,’ in which the following characteristics are used to identify (domestic) terrorists:

“Americans who believe their “way of life” is under attack; Americans who are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”; People who consider themselves “anti-global” (presumably those who are wary of the loss of American sovereignty); Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”; Americans who are “reverent of individual liberty”; People who “believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.”

The report also lists people opposed to abortion and “groups that seek to smite the purported enemies of God and other evildoers,” Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, or own gold and even people who fly a U.S. flag as terrorists. Oh, and don’t forget the FBI says using cash to pay for a cup of coffee is suspicious.

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About Tom Darby

French-born, American-raised, U.S. citizen, husband, father, friend, veteran, and writer.
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