New federal guidelines have just been introduced across the country, and what they mandate is quite disturbing to civil libertarians. The FBI has now instructed high schools across the nation to report students who in any way criticize government policies and what the report phrases as “western corruption.”
The FBI is interested in determining – as part of some warped “pre-crime” program – who might become potential future terrorists.
The FBI warns in the report that that “anarchist extremists” are no different that ISIS terrorists.
They further caution teachers against young people who are poor, as well as immigrants and others who travel to “suspicious” countries. These, they explain, are teens who are more likely to commit terrorism.
Sarah Lazare, writing for AlterNet, notes that “based on the widely unpopular British ‘anti-terror’ mass surveillance program, the FBI’s ‘Preventing Violent Extremism in Schools’ guidelines, released in January, are almost certainly designed to single out and target Muslim-American communities.”
Lazare notes that the FBI cautions teachers to “avoid the appearance of discrimination,” in carrying out the order to spy on students and report them to the Bureau.
“The agency identifies risk factors that are so broad and vague that virtually any young person could be deemed dangerous and worthy of surveillance, especially if she is socio-economically marginalized or politically outspoken,” she notes.
This overwhelming threat is then used to justify a massive surveillance apparatus, wherein educators and pupils function as extensions of the FBI by watching and informing on each other.
The FBI’s justification for such surveillance is based on McCarthy-era theories of radicalization, in which authorities monitor thoughts and behaviors that they claim to lead to acts of violent subversion, even if those people being watched have not committed any wrongdoing. This model has been widely discredited as a violence prevention method, including by the US government, but it is now being imported to schools nationwide as official federal policy.
The new guidelines suggest that “high school students are ideal targets for recruitment by violent extremists seeking support for their radical ideologies, foreign fighter networks, or conducting acts of violence within our borders.”
The paranoid of the document warns that the youth “possess inherent risk factors” that predispose them to being terrorists.
The FBI suggests that all teachers “incorporate a two-hour block of violent extremism awareness training” into their core curriculum for all high school students in the United States.
According to the FBI’s educational materials for teenagers, circulated as a visual aide to their new guidelines, the following offenses constitute signs that “could mean that someone plans to commit violence” and therefore should be reported: “Talking about traveling to places that sound suspicious”; “Using code words or unusual language”; “Using several different cell phones and private messaging apps”; and “Studying or taking pictures of potential targets (like a government building).”
Under the category of domestic terrorists, the educational materials warn of the threat posed by “anarchist extremists.” The FBI states, “Anarchist extremists believe that society should have no government, laws, or police, and they are loosely organized, with no central leadership… Violent anarchist extremists usually target symbols of capitalism they believe to be the cause of all problems in society – such as large corporations, government organizations, and police agencies.”