The FBI field office in Richmond released an internal memo last month warning that violent extremists are attracted to "radical traditionalist Catholic ideology," according to a whistleblower.
Last month, the FBI's Richmond field office allegedly published a document titled: "Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities." The document stresses: "UNCLASSIFIED/FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY" and "FBI INTERNAL USE ONLY — DO NOT DISSEMINATE EXTERNALLY."
The purported FBI internal memo, published on Jan. 23, was leaked to UncoverDC.com. The documents were supplied by Kyle Seraphin – a former FBI special agent who was indefinitely suspended without pay in June 2022 after being at the bureau for six years, according to National Review.
The FBI's Richmond field office allegedly claims it had "increasingly observed interest of racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists in radical traditionalist Catholic ideology," adding that this "presents opportunities for threat mitigation through the exploration of new avenues of tripwire and source development."
"In making this assessment, FBI Richmond relied on the key assumption that [racially or ethnically motivated extremists] will continue to find [radical-traditionalist Catholic or RTC] ideology attractive and will continue to attempt to connect with RTC adherents, both virtually via social media and in-person at places of worship," the document states.
The FBI field office in Richmond reportedly anticipates interest in "radical traditionalist Catholic ideology" by "racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists" will "likely increase in the next 12 to 24 months in the run-up to the next general election cycle."
The FBI made the assessment with "high confidence," based on "FBI investigations, local law enforcement agency reporting, and liaison reporting," according to the document.
An analyst note reads, "RTCs are typically categorized by the rejection of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) as a valid church council; disdain for most of the popes elected since Vatican II, particularly Pope Francis and Pope John Paul II; and frequent adherence to anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and white supremacist ideology. Radical-traditionalist Catholics compose a small minority of overall Roman Catholic adherents and are separate and distinct from 'traditionalist Catholics' who prefer the Traditional Latin Mass and pre-Vatican II teachings and traditions, without the more extremist ideological beliefs and violent rhetoric."
The alleged FBI internal memo cites the Southern Poverty Law Center. The document notes that the SPLC identified nine "RTC hate groups" operating in the United States in 2021.
The SPLC claims, "'Radical traditionalist' Catholics, who may make up the largest single group of serious antisemites in America, subscribe to an ideology that is rejected by the Vatican and some 70 million mainstream American Catholics."
Seraphin, a U.S. Air Force veteran and Catholic, told the Daily Signal that the "SPLC is not an appropriate source." He added that "a real intelligence product would quote" the Southern Poverty Law Center and deem it "unsubstantiated."
Seraphin said if an FBI analyst cited the far-left Salon, then they would also need to cite another "source on the other side."
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