Provided an affected law enforcement source The nation with this Department of Homeland Security Intelligence report on alleged violent threats in connection with this summer’s protests against police brutality and mass detention. The use of counter-terrorism terminology shows the DHS’s tendency to see terrorist threats where they may not exist.
❶“TTPs” (tactics, techniques and procedures)This term is common in counter-terrorism and refers to patterns of behavior that are characteristic of certain terrorist groups. The use of such a prominent term in this document in relation to terrorism is noteworthy since, as pointed out, many suspects may not even hold violent extremist beliefs.
❷“VOs” (violent opportunists)This document later states that the DHS defines VOs as “illegal actors who may or may not have violent extremist ideological beliefs, but who try to use opportunities to engage in unlawful violence during non-violent protests”.
❸“Demonstrators in Hong Kong”Since 2019, Hong Kong residents have demonstrated against attempts by mainland China to impose their extradition laws on them. US law enforcement agencies often look for foreign connections in domestic protest movements, which gives them greater freedom in surveillance.
❹“JRIC” (Joint Regional Intelligence Center)One of the many fusion centers set up by the Department of Homeland Security after September 11th to respond to terrorist threats. Fusion centers are designed to facilitate the exchange of information between federal agencies and local law enforcement agencies.
❺“LES” (law enforcement agency sensitive)A term used for internal law enforcement records that cannot be shared publicly.
❻“Anarchists”Term often used by law enforcement agencies as a synonym for “Antifa” (short for “Antifascist”). President Trump vowed this summer to officially designate Antifa as a terrorist organization, which would allow for much more intrusive forms of surveillance commonly used against foreign terrorist groups such as ISIS. However, its FBI director has claimed that Antifa is not a formal group but an ideology.
❼“Secure communication apps”Apps that use encryption to improve the privacy of the user’s correspondence. Federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI have opposed the proliferation of such apps and their impact on preventing surveillance – a phenomenon known as “darkening”.