Homeland Security Funded Study Lists People Reverent of Individual Liberty as Extreme Right Wing Terrorists

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Are you “reverent of individual liberty?” Are you “suspicious of centralized federal authority?” Do you think there is a “grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty?”

Well, then you fall into the category of “extreme right-wing” terrorist, according to a new study out of the University of Maryland, which was funded in part by the Department of Homeland Security.

The study, titled “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970-2008,” was conducted by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the university. The organization has received roughly $12 million from DHS and is set to get another $3.6 million in future funding. It is also listed as one of DHS’s “Centers for Excellence” on the agency’s website.

The study says right-wing extremists are “groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent.”

Further, right-wing extremist groups “believe in the need to be prepared” by taking part in “paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism.” Groups may also be “fiercely nationalistic” and “suspicious of centralized federal authority.”

Right-wing extremism also involves a belief in “conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty,” the study claims.

Interestingly, in an oversight that is not explained, the report barely mentions radical Islam. Instead the study lumps religious terrorist groups into one category and describes them as “groups that seen to smite the purported enemies of God and other evildoers, impose strict religious tenants or laws on society (fundamentalists), forcibly insert religion into the political sphere.”

Homeland Security Funded Study Lists People Reverent of Individual Liberty as Extreme Right Wing Terrorists

Bill Braniff (Source: start.umd.edu)

The recently appointed director of the START center is Bill Braniff, who argues that widespread “Islamophobia” is present in law enforcement training materials. He was quoted in a July 2011 NPR article saying, “I think this is something that happens across the nation fairly consistently… No one is tracking this with numbers, but anecdotally we are hearing about it all the time. The Muslim-American community is being preyed upon from two different directions.”

According to START’s website, “Braniff has also taken a keen interest in the field of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). He has consulted with the Department of Justice, the FBI and the National Security Staff, playing a key role in an interagency working group dedicated to the topic.”

So it shouldn’t be surprising that the study also appears to leave out some important data about “religious terrorism.” As pointed out by PJ Media:

In Table 4 (p. 22), titled “Hot Spots of Religious Terrorism by Decade”, three “hot spot” areas — Los Angeles, Manhattan, and Wasco, Oregon (former home of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) — are identified:

Homeland Security Funded Study Lists People Reverent of Individual Liberty as Extreme Right Wing TerroristsBut there seems to be some data missing when it comes to known Islamic terrorist incidents in New York City and Los Angeles. The study shows no religious terrorism in Manhattan during the 1990s. How about the 1993 World Trade Center bombing? Or the 1994 Brooklyn Bridge Jewish student van shooting by Rashid Baz that killed 16-year-old Ari Halberstam after Baz heard a fiery anti-Jewish sermon at his local mosque? Or the 1997 Empire State Building observation deck shooting by Ali Abu Kamal that killed one tourist and injured six others before Kamal took his own life?

And then there was the 2002 shooting at the Los Angeles Airport El Al counter by Hesham Mohamed Hadayet that killed two and wounded four others. The FBI and Justice Department concluded that the attack was a terrorist attack by an Egyptian assailant bent on becoming a Muslim martyr.

These are reflected nowhere in the study. Perhaps, like the 2009 Fort Hood massacre by Major Nidal Hasan, who gunned down his U.S. Army colleagues while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” these incidents are considered acts of “workplace violence” and not religious terrorism?

Have these incidents been redefined to prevent facts from conflicting with an agenda-driven narrative? Or have these data points been excluded altogether?

To be sure, the definition of extreme left-wing terrorists describes the Occupy Wall Street movement almost perfectly:

Groups that want to bring about change through violent revolution rather than through established political processes. This category also includes secular left-wing groups that rely heavily on terrorism to overthrow the capitalist system and either establish a “dictatorship of the proletariat” (Marxist-Leninists) or, much more rarely, a decentralized, non-hierarchical political system (anarchists).

Other terrorist groups include “entho-nationalist/separatists” (think New Black Panther Party) and “single issue” organizations, such as “anti-abortion” advocates.

Further, taking a look at the START dataset’s codebook, two subgroups of “right-wing extremism” were identified as “gun rights” and “tax protest,” according to PJ Media.

Homeland Security Funded Study Lists People Reverent of Individual Liberty as Extreme Right Wing Terrorists

The definition of “terrorism” seems to be expanding at an alarming rate as the federal government and other left-leaning scholarly institutions are increasingly classifying seemingly harmless actions such as cherishing personal liberty and opposing abortion as potential terrorist activity.

This isn’t the first time taxpayers have funded these types of terrorism “studies.”

For example, the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism program recently classified things such as the bulk purchase of food and paying with cash at a coffee shop as indicators for potential terrorist activity.

It appears that anyone could be considered a terrorist these days, depending on who controls the interpretation of the information.