Controversial police shootings of African-Americans and an apparent lack of justice are causing “black-identity extremists” to target white officers, a declassified FBI report says. Critics argue the term is racially biased.
The term ‘black-identity extremists,’ used in the report, refers to both individuals and a loosely defined movement seeking to establish “wholly or in part, through unlawful acts of force or violence, in response to perceived racism and injustice in American society,” a separate black homeland or autonomous black social institutions or governing groups within the United States.
Marked ‘for official use only’ (FOUO) and obtained by Foreign Policy(FP) magazine, the report says “it is very likely Black Identity Extremist [BIE] perceptions of police brutality against African-Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement.”
Incidents involving “alleged police abuse” have “continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement,” says the report composed by the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.
Violent extremists are driven by a “mix of anti-authoritarian, Moorish sovereign citizens ideology, and BIE ideology,” the report claims, adding that “the FBI has high confidence in these assessments, based on a history of violent incidents” attributed to African-American perpetrators who acted because of their beliefs.
The FBI believes that perceptions of police brutality against African-Americans have been driving BIE followers since 2014, when Michael Brown was shot dead by officers in Ferguson, Missouri, causing outrage in the black community.
The report notes that on July 7, 2016, Micah Johnson – a Mississippi-born, Texas-raised black man outraged by police shootings of black individuals – ambushed and shot eleven officers in downtown Dallas, Texas before being shot dead by police. The five officers that died in the shooting were white, it adds.
The term ‘black identity extremism’ does not appear to have surfaced anywhere until early August – when the FBI report was compiled.