Members of the Congress confronted the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation because of an intelligence report that says that black extremists were targeting law enforcement because of police abuses in minority communities. FBI director Christopher A. Wray met the members of the Congressional Black Caucus and they discussed the concerns about the report. The document groups together blacks who have espoused violent ideologies, some of whom attacked the police, under the term ‘Black identity extremist’ movement, The New York Times reports.
According to Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Wray could not identify a single activist group that belongs to the category of black identity extremists.
“He was asked to publicly clarify that there is no scintilla of evidence, as far as we can tell, to provide an example of the black identity extremist movement or any groups that fall in that category. That clarification should be made public, it seems to many of us, and not privately behind closed doors,” Jeffries said.
FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Analysis Unit says in the report that violence directed towards the law enforcement increased after the white police officer who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014 was not indicted. The report says that continued “alleged” police abuses have fueled more violence.
“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 August 3 report read.
The report cites six attacks and says that some of the members of the movement wanted to establish a sovereign autonomous black homeland in the U.S. some say labeling a so-called movement as black identity extremists was ambiguous and meant to chill free speech.
“The FBI has a critical role in protecting civil liberties, but it routinely undermines them by unjustifiably and unfairly targeting minorities and those who dissent,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.
Wray reportedly told the group that the Black Lives Matters movement was not under investigation.