Tuesday 13 July 2021

FBI Receives Major Backlash After Encouraging People to Report 'Family Members and Peers'

 A century after Soviet Russia began to encourage children to spy on their parents, the FBI wants American kids to follow in those footsteps.

On Sunday, the FBI issued a tweet encouraging children to consider their parents as potential violent extremists and not to hesitate to turn them in.

“Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism. Visit to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI. #NatSec,” the FBI tweeted.

The tweet references a publication called “Homegrown Violent Extremist Mobilization Indicators.” The guide outlines behaviors considered possibly suspicious.

Outrage erupted.

“In both Cuba & China, they also ask children to spy on their parents,” Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas tweeted.


In January, The Washington Post noted that children and other family members were reported parents and relatives who may have participated in the Capitol incursion.

“The FBI wants you to spy on your family but isn’t at all concerned about a years worth of rioting, looting, arson & murder. The distrust their incompetent leadership is creating is likely irreversible. They target grandmas taking selfie’s but not people placing bombs at the RNC,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted.

The Biden administration last month announced a domestic terrorism strategy that it says will focus on white supremacists and militia groups that defy governmental authority.

Stewart Baker, a Homeland Security lawyer in the administration of former President George W. Bush administration, said Biden’s approach has him “deeply uneasy,” according to NBC News.

“The administration intends to deploy the language and tools of counterterrorism against people on the far right of the U.S. political spectrum,” he said.

“Those people are certainly not all innocents. Some of them have committed mass murder, killings of federal officers and the like. But it’s hard to say that such violence has been the signature of an organization or, really, of more than one or two individuals whose beliefs border on mental illness. Preventing and punishing such violence is what law enforcement tools are for.”

Counterterrorism strategies, he said, should focus on the “much more dangerous forms of terrorism we’ve seen from ISIS and al-Qaida.” 

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