FBI Labels ‘Conspiracy Theories’ As Potential Domestic Terrorist Threats
Jim Satney August 4, 2019
The FBI now considers “fringe conspiracy theories” as a terrorist threat in the United States, according to a new Yahoo! report. The newly publicized document reveals that the U.S. government feels anti-government theories that involve government corruption are a threat.
The document, dated May 30, 2019, terms the groups as “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” and labels them as a “growing threat” which needs to be dealt with. The report lists several recent arrests as being examples of this new threat.
The FBI believes that “fringe ideas,” such as PizzaGate and QAnon, are examples of terrorist groups. PizzaGate is a conspiracy that political figures such as the Clintons participated in a global pedophilia ring. The PizzaGate issue grew by leaps and bounds following Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest and alleged jail cell suicide attempt.
“The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts,” the Yahoo! reported document states.
The QAnon conspiracy, which believes there is a conspiracy against President Trump, could become a more fascinating topic given the FBI’s assertions. With the 2020 election around the corner and a mainstream media that refuses to pump the breaks on slamming Trump, the FBI could move to arrest any pro-Trump groups which assert media biases or otherwise.
The document mentions Trump by name, stating QAnon as being run by a government official who “posts classified information online to reveal a covert effort, led by President Trump, to dismantle a conspiracy involving ‘deep state’ actors and global elites allegedly engaged in an international child sex trafficking ring.”
Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray was criticized for failing to name ‘white nationalist’ and ‘white supremacist’ as domestic terrorist threats. Wray justified the FBI’s actions by saying the Burea no longer wants to focus on specific races, rather, a general concept of “racially motivated” violence.
The main focus of the new document hones in on anti-government extremism. The document clearly states theories which “attempt to explain events or circumstances as the result of a group of actors working in secret to benefit themselves at the expense of others” and are “usually at odds with official or prevailing explanations of events” will be considered domestic terrorist threats.
The advent of the Internet and social media has enabled promoters of conspiracy theories to produce and share greater volumes of material via online platforms that larger audiences of consumers can quickly and easily access,” the document says.
Of course, it’s difficult not to see a potential downside in such official language. For example, the government commonly determines any non-mainstream rhetoric or beliefs as “conspiracy theory.” If the government now chooses to link conspiracy theories to domestic threats, the slippery slope becomes obvious. Furthermore, this wreaks of a government crackdown on free speech that challenges the crown.
The FBI attempts to clarify this is not their position in the document when it says it will “never initiate an investigation based solely on First Amendment-protected activity. As with all of our investigations, the FBI can never monitor a website or a social media platform without probable cause.”
In many ways, the document emboldens anti-government conspiracy theories which hinge on the idea that the government wants to silence critics. In other words, such an agenda hardly helps relieve stress over growing censorship concerns.