Homeland Security Was Reportedly Worried BLM Protestors Would Join ISIS
Law enforcement agencies have been the center of discussion for surveillance of protestors in recent years.
Documents obtained by Property of the People (POTP), a self-described nonprofit specialist organization, allegedly show law enforcement officials linked the Ferguson, MO. and Baltimore, MD. #BlackLivesMatter protests to an interest in joining ISIS.
The Intercept released the report Monday, saying POTP had shared the documents with them. Though there have been multiple accounts of emails and documents that have proven law enforcement monitor(ed) Black Lives Matter protestors, such a link to ISIS has never publicly been seen. One possible example was in 2017 when Al Jeezara reported leaked emails, dated July 8, 2016, termed one protestor as a "black supremacist extremist."
POTP's latest findings suggest individuals within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security established a pattern of similarity between the movement against police brutality and foreign terrorism. They did so, The Intercept reported, by greatly exaggerating "isolated" social media activity, a large percent by foreign accounts, which encouraged a "connection" between protestors and ISIS.
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“They try to make it [scarier than it is]. It’s like, ‘If we link Islam to it, and we link Muslims to it, then people will see this as a real threat because nothing is scarier than Muslims,’” said Umar Lee, a St. Louis activist, to The Intercept. “Nothing is scarier than, ‘Hey, if the Muslims get together with these scary black dudes then we got a real problem, so we need every resource available to stop this.’”
Documents publicized by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) support POTP's findings, according to The Intercept — including an FBI report on the Ferguson protest that claimed, “ISIS supporters are urging Ferguson protestors to embrace radical Islam and engage in further violence.”
“Blackness and Muslim identity have been cast as threatening since America’s founding. No surprise then that these documents reveal [a] near-obsessive fear of their intersection,” said Omar Farah, a senior staff attorney at CCR.
The CCR and ACLU joined forces to sue the FBI and DHS, hoping to obtain more information about its surveillance of black activists. At this time, there are no reports to support the belief that any Black Lives Matter activists joined ISIS.
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