The FBI’s creation of “Black identity extremists” began in August of last year when the FBI intelligence report “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated To Target Law Enforcement Officers” was released. In the report, the FBI said “it is very likely 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.” This 12-page-report has caused some concern that the FBI is launching a new version of the COINTELPRO program targeting Black activists and organizations. The first reported case of prosecution against someone identified as BIE has emerged. Christopher Daniels is the first person to be suspected to be arrested as apart of the BIE was arrested during a raid at his home in December of last year. Daniels know in Dallas as Rakem Balogun was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, the result of more than two years of FBI surveillance, as Foreign Policy reported.
Last month, an article published by Foreign Policy reported that the Dallas native had been under FBI surveillance for the last two years before they raided his home in December. During the raid Law enforcement confiscated a Taurus Protector Poly 38 Special, a Norinco AK-style assault rifle and the book Negroes With Guns by Robert F. Williams. The article also states that Daniels friends and family believe he was targeted by FBI officials, because of his political views and anti-law enforcement rhetoric rather than any real threat he poses. They point particularly to a new government classification for domestic terror threats, which the FBI calls “black identity extremists.” According to Foreign Policy report the term terrorism is “used to describe individuals who resort to violence or unlawful activities “in response to perceived racism and injustice in American society.”
In a Dec. 15 during a detention hearing FBI special agent, Aaron Keighley said Daniels first came to the FBI’s attention in March of 2015, when he appeared in a InfoWars (Right-wing news website) video showing Daniels at a rally in Austin, TX to protest police brutality. The protest was brought together by members of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club and Guerilla Mainframe, a group that promotes weapons training, fitness, and community service. Daniels is a co-founder of Guerilla Mainframe and a founding member of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, which promotes open carry, in which gun owners carry firearms that are visible. Texas is an open carry state.
During the detention hearing, FBI agent Aaron Keighley also referred to Facebook post Daniels made on accounts under the aliases Rakem Khafre Balogun and Rakem Khafre, where he showed admiration for Tremaine Wilbourn, who is accused of killing a Memphis, Tennessee, police officer, and Micah X Johnson, who killed five police officers in Dallas in July 2016. In one specific Facebook post Daniels shared a Dallas Morning News article about how Johnson’s actions were the result of America’s failure to address racism, with the caption, “They deserve what they got. LMAO!” Daniels trial begins March 26, 2018 if convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
According to Atlanta Black Star “the FBI is also setting up a task force to monitor social media, which, given the agency’s history of singling out Black movements, poses dangers for Black activists who exercise their First Amendment rights on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.”
This attempt by the government to silence Black activist and organizations are quite too familiar seeing the FBI’s long and decorated history of treating any movement started by Black people as a threat to national security and public safety. While the FBI has created BIE to deter Black people’s efforts to empower the Black community we cannot let these tactics stop us for fighting for what we believe in.
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