NEWS

Domestic Extremist Dictionary Leaked from DHS, Then Retracted

By Matthew Harwood

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has once again leaked, and then quickly retracted, a controversial internal intelligence document dealing with the threats posed by domestic extremists. This time it's a dictionary called the "Domestic Extremism Lexicon."

The Washington Times reports:

The same Homeland Security Department office that categorized veterans as potential terrorists issued an earlier report that defined dozens of "extremists" ranging from black power activists to abortion foes. The report was nixed within hours and recalled from state and local law enforcement officials.

The self-described "reference aid," dated March 29, 2009, was produced by DHS's Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A). According to the document's introduction:

This product provides definitions for key terms and phrases that often appear in DHS analysis that addresses the nature and scope of the threat that domestic, non-Islamic extremism poses to the United States. Definitions were derived from a variety of open source materials and unclassified information, then further developed during facilitated workshops with DHS intelligence analysts knowledgeable about domestic, non-Islamic extremism in the United States.

This is the same DHS office responsible for producing a rightwing extremism report, dated April 7, 2009, that stoked outrage among veterans groups because it said rightwing extremist groups might target and radicalize returning soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq for violent extremism. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized directly to the American Legion for the report's content.

The newer document covers a broad range of extremist causes, including anti-abortion, anti-immigration, animal rights, black separatism, anti-technology extremism, Cuban independence activism, tax resistors, and religious extremism of various faiths.

Conservatives in particular, already angered by last months' report, bristled at the new report, which defines "rightwing extremism" as "dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."

DHS spokeswoman Amy Kudwa told the Times that the document "was not an authorized I&A product, and it was recalled as soon as management discovered it had been released without authorization," adding that "This product is not, nor was it ever, in operational use."

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