Newly leaked documents show that the FBI has lied about the extent of its tracking of Black activists, while consistently obscuring the real threat of white supremacy.1 In the wake of recent attacks in Dayton, OH, Gilroy, CA and El Paso, TX, it’s time for Congress to act quickly and decisively to hold the Bureau accountable.
FBI director Christopher Wray testified to Congress earlier this year that his agency no longer uses the “Black Identity Extremist” (BIE) label and that they focus on violence and not ideology in determining what to investigate.2 Yet documents obtained by The Young Turks make clear that the Bureau under Trump has not only continued programs related to the groundless BIE label, but prioritized these investigations over the targeting of white supremacists and other known terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda. They also developed a new infiltration program called “Iron Fist” to “mitigate the threat posed by the BIE movement at a national level” — without citing any actual terrorist activities conducted by these groups.
The FBI cannot be trusted. We’re calling on Congressional leaders to help end “Iron Fist” and all FBI programs based on the made-up “Black Identity Extremist” label, to stop the Bureau from grouping white supremacist incidents with Black protests against police violence, and to force them to be transparent about the funding used to investigate domestic terrorist groups.
The FBI is directing its resources into improperly surveilling and criminalizing Black activists for their right to dissent at the exact time white supremacists are organizing online and violently attacking communities of color. This dangerous prioritization and false assessment is putting millions of lives at risk.
Join us today in urging Rep. Elijah Cummings (Chair of the House Oversight & Reform Committee), Rep. Jerry Nadler (Chair of the House Judiciary Committee), and Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee) to use their oversight powers to force the FBI to meet our demands and #ProtectBlackDissent.
1. Leaked FBI Documents Reveal Bureau’s Priorities Under Trump, The Young Turks
2. FBI Abandons Use of Term “Black Identity Extremism, The Wall Street Journal