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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 19, 2020, 02:05 AM

30. It's not as straightforward as you might think.

Last edited Sun Jan 19, 2020, 06:50 AM - Edit history (3)

There's actually lots of white supremacist terrorist training going on in the US. Most of it happens in mountain and desert regions. We see it here in AZ all the time where they do it under the guise of "patriotic militias." That's not to say the training camps are exclusively in the mountains and deserts. Any relatively isolated rural area or swampland will do. (Keep in mind the guy responsible for the horrific Parkland High killings did his gun training with a white supremacist group that runs training "seminars" in Florida).

I've watched Wray testify about this to Congress a few times. Got to give it to the guy, he seems to be trying really hard to thread the needle. Clearly, the rise of American neo-Nazi groups and the even greater number of other white supremacist terrorist organizations is something he's concerned about. The box he's in though is that he has to stay below tRump's radar if he wants to combat them.

Thus, public statements emphasize neo-Nazis, which is FBI "public relations code" for all white supremacist terrorists. He's prohibited by the tRump admin from saying anything about white supremacists who aren't neo-Nazis (even though these guys are the greater threat) without also equivocating about supposed "black militants" and an over-exaggerated antifa threat, which we see born out in the twisted reports the FBI has compiled to placate tRump in this matter.

Publicly though, Wray has figured out a way to sidestep this altogether by simply referring to all white supremacist groups as neo-Nazis and it seems tRump is none the wiser.

Gauging by the arrests occurring over the past two years (mostly quietly with no media attention), Wray is running a number of undercover ops within white supremacy terrorist organizations, both neo-Nazi and not.

Regarding the references to overseas training: That's essentially a funding issue, but an important one that determines whether the FBI will investigate a white supremacist group. Under tRump and Rethuglican-written regulations, the only money spigot for the FBI to conduct investigations of these guys is through funding that is specifically designated to track down terrorists. But, the only way something can be designated as terrorist activity is if it has a foreign, overseas element to it. Essentially, it's a too-cute-by-far Rethuglican trick to prevent American white supremacists from being designated (and investigated) as terrorists.

That's where the neo-Nazis come in. Because of the exponential rise of these groups in Europe and because of the Internet, there is indeed a lot of "blurring of the lines" going on where American white supremacists who aren't specifically neo-Nazis are communicating in online chat rooms with the European neo-Nazis, along with, of course, the American neo-Nazis. The FBI is all up in these chatrooms and as soon as a connection is made, bingo, there's your foreign influence and there's your funding to open an investigation.

It also seems that the better-funded American white supremacists inevitably end up sending one or more of their leaders to Europe to gladhand with the bros across the pond. Once that happens, and if the undercover op has successfully established large weapons caches, terrorist manifestos, &/or other illegal activity, as soon as the leaders return to American soil, they're arrested, usually at the airport, while simultaneous FBI raids and arrests are occurring elsewhere with other members of the group.

Also, note that Wray's phrasing about the overseas activity is "to train." He knows popular imagination will immediately jump to ISIS-like "training camps" that we've all seen TV images of. That's okay. It gleans more support for him to continue investigating white supremacists here, which is where the majority of the actual training camps are located (as you intimated in your post).

Thus, for example, last year the FBI took down an extremely dangerous white supremacy terrorist group out of San Diego who had been committing violence against anti-Trump protesters up and down the West Coast. They were known as elite combat trainers and actually ran a physical fitness/gun use/street fight training program for other supremacist groups from across the country.

So, the FBI ran the same playbook on them as described above, infiltrating first online to establish foreign comms going on and then with inside agents gathering evidence of violent crimes and weapons stashing. Finally, two of the group's leaders went to Germany to hobnob in a castle with European leaders of a white supremacist "coalition" put together by Steve Bannon. After that, it was lights out and Wray shut the San Diego group down.

The point of this story is to note that these guys went to Europe "to train" with neo-Nazis...of sorts. Training is not only about physical combat (and, truth be told, if anybody was going to be doing that kind of training, these guys were going to be the trainers, not the trainees). However, "training" also includes indoctrination of the mind into a terrorist ideology. In between all the drinking and man-splaining going on during their castle broo-ha-ha, apparently enough "heil Hitler" salutes were thrown around to nail it on the ideology training front.

In conclusion, I think Wray is working this as best as anyone can whose hands are tied behind his back. The real problem is that without that tenuous "foreign influence" connection with bona-fide neo-Nazis, he's downright hogtied when it comes to doing any kind of deep-dive into white supremacy terrorist groups here in America, the greater number of which are not actual neo-Nazis. Unless someone provides credible evidence of a specific imminent threat, the white supremacists are persona non grata to the FBI. Hell, he's not even allowed to define someone as a "domestic terrorist" if, after they've actually committed a terrorist act, it's discovered they're a white supremacist.

Meanwhile, an even more insidious cancer is growing in America where we're discovering white supremacist cells popping up everywhere in police forces across the country and in every branch of the military. And, guess what? Their training camps are paid for by our tax dollars.

Hope this helps your understanding. Sorry so long, but it is a convoluted situation not able to be covered in a soundbite.

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Dennis Donovan Jan 2020 OP
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LineLineNew Reply It's not as straightforward as you might think.
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