A report by the FBI dated August 3, 2017, titled “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers” identifies Black Identity Extremists (BIEs) as black people who may carry out targeted, premeditated violent attacks against police in response to incidents of real or perceived excessive police violence against blacks.
The report stated the following:
- An increase in BIE violence began after the 2014 death of Mike Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and after the decision by a grand jury not to indict the officer.
- The FBI highlighted six attacks by alleged BIE members, including the August 2016 ambush of police officers in Dallas, Texas, by Micah Johnson, who shot 11 officers and killed five.
- Very few incidents of BIE targeted, premeditated violence toward police officers took place over the past 20 years before 2014. Before that, BIE violence was carried out in the 1960s and 1970s by groups such as the Black Liberation Army during and in response to the Civil Rights Movement.
- It is likely that perceptions of unjust treatment of blacks by police, and the perception that those police actions go unchallenged by law, will inspire more premeditated attacks against police over the next year.
While the report may be seen as controversy to some, the FBI defended the report, maintaining that investigations still cannot be initiated “based solely on an individual’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of First Amendment rights.”
“Domestic terrorism groups differ from traditional criminal groups in that they take action for a different purpose, to bring attention to a social or political cause,” the FBI wrote in a statement to Foreign Policy. “Therefore, their existence as a group has a legitimate purpose, at least in part. Their legitimate activity may include acts of protest, advocacy, and civil disobedience.”
Randy Sutton, a former Las Vegas Metropolitan Lieutenant, told Fox News that the FBI report makes official what he and others in police work have been observing in recent years.
“Nobody is saying anything negative about protests,” Sutton said, “Protesting is everyone’s right. This is about commiting acts of violence. Many Black Lives Matter protests call for violence against police, with chants like ‘What do we want?’ and ‘Dead cops!’ It’s terrorism, and it’s no different than Islamic terrorism.”
The report can be viewed in full here.
Earlier this year, the FBI issued a report titled “The Assailant Study – Mindsets and Behaviors” that outlined groups such as Black Lives Matter and the Media inspired others to kill cops.
“The assailants inspired by social and/or political reasons believed that attacking police officers was their way to ‘get justice’ for those who had been, in their view, unjustly killed by law enforcement,” said the report. In two horrific assassinations of police, the report said that “the assailants said they were influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement.”
In April 2016, the FBI issued a warning of “anarchist extremists” and Antifa would become more “confrontational” towards government officials.