Has DHS Secretary defined you as a terrorist?

By Rich Rostron

Are you a terrorist? Of course not. You obey all the traffic signs. You pay your taxes (well, most of them). You even volunteer to help with charitable organizations in your community. In other words, there's no way you could be a terrorist.

Not so quick!

According to a Feb. 7 National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin from Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkis...you might very well be a terrorist.

Have you spread misinformation? Before you jump up and say, "NO WAY!" keep in mind that the DHS has its own metrics for determining what makes a terrorist. And that includes their own determination of what is or isn't "misinformation."

In his bulletin, Mayorkis wrote:

"The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by … an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories …". He goes on to say that these threats may be "amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors."

Again, Myorkis puts it this way:

"These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of volence."

Mayorkis says that the "threat landscape" hasn't changed, but that "the convergence of the following factors has increased the volatility, unpredictability, and complexity of the threat environment:
  1. The proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions
  2. "...Continued calls for violence directed at U.S. critical infrastructure; soft targets and mass gatherings; faith-based institutions, such as churches, synagogues, and mosques; institutions of higher education; racial and religious minorities; government facilities and personnel, including law enforcement and the military; the media; and perceived ideological opponents …"
Mayorkis then lists how his agency and the government are spending our money - a lot of our money - to address the threats:
Mayorkis's bulletin then goes on to provide the customary disclaimer: "DHS also has renewed its commitment to ensure that all efforts to combat domestic violent extremism are conducted in ways consistent with privacy protection, civil rights and civil liberties, and all applicable laws."

When you consider the shifting nature of "misinformation," it's no wonder some may find this 'Bulletin' alarming. Consider that the following were considered "misinformation:"

COVID Related:
Trump and Russian Collusion related:
2020 election related
There are more examples. And you can find them if you look. But the point is that, when the government starts using the nebulous term "misinformation" to define "terrorists" no one is truly safe.

See the entire DHS 'Bulletin' at https://www.dhs.gov/news/2022/02/07/dhs-issues-national-terrorism-advisory-system-ntas-bulletin.