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Black Identity Extremists [BIE]

The FBI defines Black Identity Extremists [BIE] as individuals who seek, wholly or in part, through unlawful acts of force or violence, in response to perceived racism and injustice in American society and some do so in furtherance of establishing a separate black homeland or autonomous black social institutions, communities, or governing organizations within the United States. This desire for physical or psychological separation is typically based on either a religious or political belief system, which is sometimes formed around or includes a belief in racial superiority or supremacy. The FBI notes that "The mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics may not constitute extremism, and may be constitutionally protected".

The FBI defines sovereign citizen extremists as individuals who openly reject their US citizenship status, believe that most forms of established government, authority, and institutions are illegitimate, and seek, wholly or in part, through unlawful acts of force or violence, to further their claim to be immune from government authority. The FBI notes that "The mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics may not constitute extremism, and may be constitutionally protected".

Moorish sovereign citizens are a loose network of mostly African Americans who believe they are sovereign entities who do not recognize the authority of the US Government. Moorish sovereign citizen ideology derives from the Moorish Science Temple of America, a non-violent religious and cultural movement founded in 1913 by Nobel Drew Ali, who taught his followers they were not negroes but Moors, people of North African Berber and Arab descent. Some Moorish adherents adopt sovereign citizen strategies to assert diplomatic immunity by claiming membership in fictitious Native American tribes, claiming descent from settlers who arrived in North America during the pre-Columbian era, or identifying as foreign nationals or ambassadors.

On 7 July 2016, Micah Johnson ambushed and shot 11 law enforcement officers, killing five, in downtown Dallas, Texas, during a First Amendment protected protest, before being ultimately killed by police. The five deceased officers were white. On 23 October 2014, Zale H. Thompson attacked four white New York Police Department (NYPD) officers in Queens with a hatchet. One officer received injuries to the arm and a second officer received an injury to the side of his head. The two remaining NYPD officers at the scene shot and killed Thompson.

On 17 July 2016, Gavin Eugene Long ambushed and shot six law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, before eventually being killed by police. The deceased victims included one African American officer and one white officer from the Baton Rouge Police Department, and one white officer from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriffs Office. On 13 September 2016, an individual reportedly intentionally drove his vehicle toward three white officers with the Police Department in Phoenix, Arizona, outside a gas station, striking two of them before he was arrested. On 21 November 2014, a BIE was arrested and eventually convicted for purchasing explosives the subject intended to use in the Ferguson area.

The "Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers" Intelligence Assessment Prepared by: FBI Counterterrorism Division - 3 August 2017, stated "The FBI assesses it is very likely a Black Identity Extremist (BIE) perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence. The FBI assess it is very likely this increase began following the 9 August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent Grand Jury November 2014 declination to indict the police officers involved.

"The FBI assesses it is very likely incidents of alleged police abuse against African Americans since then have continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement. The FBI assesses it is very likely some BIEs are influenced by a mix of anti-authoritarian, Moorish sovereign citizen ideology, and BIE ideology. The FBI has high confidence in these assessments, based on a history of violent incidents attributed to individuals who acted on behalf of their ideological beliefs, documented in FBI investigations and other law enforcement and open source reporting. The FBI makes this judgment with the key assumption the recent incidents are ideologically motivated."

This assessment was the first FBI analytic intelligence product to assess influences between the sovereign citizen extremist movement and the black identity extremist movement. The FBI had previously reported on BIE retaliatory violence against law enforcement in two products, both of which had findings consistent with the August 2017 assessment.

The 23 March 2016 FBI intelligence bulletin, titled (U//FOUO) Black Separatist Extremists Call for Retaliation in Response to Police-Involved Incidents Could Incite Acts of Violence against Law Enforcement, assessed incidents involving allegations of law enforcement abuse and related legal proceedings would likely lead to BSE calls for violent retaliation and incite these domestic extremists to commit violent acts against law enforcement.

The 14 November 2014 FBI intelligence bulletin, titled (U//FOUO) Potential Criminal Reactions to Missouri Grand Jury Announcement, assessed the announcement of the grand jurys decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson would likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure.

The FBI judged it was very likely BIE perceptions of police brutality against African Americans had become organizing drivers for the BIE movement since 2014, resulting in a spike of BIEs intentionally targeting law enforcement with violence. In all six targeted attacks since 2014, the FBI assessed it is very likely the BIE suspects acted in retaliation for perceived past police brutality incidents. Even though five of these attacks occurred following controversial police shootings of African Americans by white police officers, BIE targeting of officers was not, in every incident, based on their specific race.

The FBI assesses it is very likely a few of the BIEs who have targeted law enforcement since 2014 were influenced by more than one ideological perspective. The FBI judges it is very likely in four of the six BIE attacks against law enforcement since 2014, the perpetrators were motivated by a mix of BIE ideology and Moorish sovereign citizen extremist ideology, a category of SCE ideology. The FBI assesses it is very likely BIE adoption of a Moorish SCE identity reinforced a sense of disenfranchisement from society and a perception that the criminal justice system is unjust.

Black Identity Extremism is the FBIs latest tactic to criminalize black activists and justify increased police presence in black communities, according to janaya khan, a black, queer, gender-nonconforming activist and social-justice educator currently serving as international ambassador for the Black Lives Matter Network. Right-wing extremism leads to far more police deaths than what the report sites. This year alone, 168 black people have been killed by police, khan continues. In fact, white supremacists and right-wing extremism are responsible for 73 percent of deadly U.S. domestic-terror attacks since 2001 and have killed more than two-thirds of police officers compared to their left-wing counterparts.... Despite these stats, police officers kill black people two-and-a-half times more than they kill black people and kill unarmed black people at five times the rate as they kill unarmed white people.

Malkia Cyril, the co-founder and executive director of the Center for Media Justice as well as a Black Lives Matter Bay Area activist, said "its constructed, out of ... looking at six different cases over three years that have absolutely nothing to do with each other, of people who have committed violence against police officers. They have constructed a relationship between these cases that doesnt exist, and then assigned some political ideology to those cases that doesnt exist."

Andrew Cohen wrote October 11, 2017 : "The history of the FBI is the history of surveillance and intimidation of black Americans that frequently goes beyond legitimate law enforcement into paranoia, racism, and political expediency.... there is no BIE movement, but in the fertile mind of those within the Trump administration who want you to believe there is some sinister black force out there bent on attacking police officers.... the Black Lives Matter movement is not a domestic terrorist movement no matter how hard Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions wish it so."

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