Anti-Government Group Is On The Feds Radar

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is stepping up their attention on what they call an “extremist anti-government group that in the past has attracted little national media attention, listing them among the nation’s top domestic terror threats.

The group in question is the Sovereign Citizens movement. According to experts the sect is a loosely organized collection of groups and individuals who believe they are not subject to local, state or federal laws, and some even refuse to recognize the authority of courts or the police. Their extreme right-wing anarchist ideology is said to originate from the theories of a group called the Posse Comitatus, whose basic philosophy was anti-government in nature. Although the posse’s rhetoric was said not to be hate-filled, many of the group’s leaders were believed to be infectious racists. Philosophers like Robert Kelly, publisher of The American’s Sovereign Bulletin, the leading publication in the sovereign-citizen domain, believe that US Constitution’s Reconstruction Amendments enacted after the Civil war intended to give rights and protection to individuals who did not have them before, essentially giving legal rights to the slaves that were set free during that time, instead established a secondary class of citizens under the control of the government. The Sovereign Citizens also believe that what they interpret as ploys they believe originally used to limit African American’s rights, have been expanded over time to make all of us second-class citizens with limited rights.

Although the extent of the threat is unknown, Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit organization that tracks domestic terrorists and hate groups, says that more than 100,000 Americans have aligned themselves with the sovereign citizens. This must be an estimate because arriving at a conclusive number in the US is virtually impossible. By their very nature, these groups are secretive and reclusive. They often take great pains to simultaneously isolate themselves from parts of society they feel are corrupt or unacceptable, and spread their message of anti-government activism without compromising their security. Conservative estimates, say there are perhaps 200 groups in at least thirty states that meet the basic criteria of an anti-government militia cell. Their members typically share a number of characteristics. Most fundamentally is a profound mistrust of the American government in all its forms.

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