Amid criticism that President Obama is skirting the Islamic extremist threat, his administration is circulating a new intelligence assessment reporting a heightened danger right here at home – from the sovereign citizen extremist movement.
The Feb. 5 intelligence assessment by the Department of Homeland Security does not say this is a new or primary focus for the department, and is among several that the agency puts out each year about emerging or existing threats.
But it is sure to raise hackles among the president’s critics, who say he is too skittish about offending Muslims.
The recent intelligence assessment, says the sovereign citizen ideology is a belief that individuals are “immune from federal, state, and local laws and that many Constitutional amendments are false.”
It also says supporters believe they have “unfettered authority to travel ‘on the land,’” and don’t have to pay government fees and taxes, “(rejecting) the authority of the government, law enforcement, and the courts.” In short, many believe the government is illegitimate.
Not all sovereign citizens are violent, but some are, according to the report. Along with “eco-terrorists/animal rights extremists,” and “lone offenders,” the FBI has labeled sovereign citizens a “domestic terrorist” movement.
The DHS report details a number of cases in which sovereign extremists have attacked police and warns, “law enforcement officers will remain the primary target of (SCE) violence over the next year due to their role in physically enforcing laws and regulations.”