FBI Tells Americans to Report 'Family Members and Peers' for 'Suspicious Behaviors'

FBI Tells Americans to Report 'Family Members and Peers' for 'Suspicious Behaviors'

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published a tweet on Sunday telling Americans to report their own family members and peers for “suspicious behaviors.”

The FBI’s tweet read:

Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism. Visit https://go.usa.gov/x6mjf to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI. #NatSec

Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism. Visit https://t.co/bql36iSbig to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI. #NatSecpic.twitter.com/ZwJp5h5bWD

— FBI (@FBI) July 11, 2021

The tweet included a link to a government booklet that was first written in 2015 on “indicators” that someone may be contemplating violent action.

The booklet states on page 22 that it is focused on individuals or groups inspired by Islamist terrorist organizations:

Certainly, behaviors exist and are noted in this booklet that would be troubling regardless of ideological motivation and may warrant contacting law enforcement. However, this booklet is focused on individuals or groups that are inspired or enabled by foreign terrorist organizations, including but not limited to ISIS, al-Qa‘ida, and their affiliates and allies.

The booklet also states several times that the “indicators” may be constitutionally protected activities, but if they are observed in combination with “other suspicious behaviors,” those indicators may “raise suspicions” and “constitute a basis for reporting”:

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) emphasize that many of the indicators described herein may involve constitutionally protected activities and might be insignificant on their own. However, when observed in combination with other suspicious behaviors, these indicators may raise suspicion in a reasonable person and constitute a basis for reporting. Law enforcement action should not be taken solely based on the exercise of constitutionally protected rights, or on the apparent or actual race, ethnicity, national origin or religion of the subject, or on any combination of these factors. Individuals are encouraged to contact law enforcement if, based on these indicators and the situational context, they suspect an individual is mobilizing to violence.

Conservatives slammed the FBI for encouraging Americans to report their family members.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted: “In both Cuba & China, they also ask children to spy on their parents….”

In both Cuba & China, they also ask children to spy on their parents…. https://t.co/ss9TKNEBlz

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 11, 2021

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) tweeted: “These people protected Hillary, abused NSA surveillance databases against Americans, used known, unreliable DNC-funded propaganda to spy on Trump, perpetuated the Russia hoax, & lied to the FISC repeatedly. And now they tell you that you should spy on your family.”

These people protected Hillary, abused NSA surveillance databases against Americans, used known, unreliable DNC-funded propaganda to spy on Trump, perpetuated the Russia hoax, & lied to the FISC repeatedly.

And now they tell you that you should spy on your family. https://t.co/dNh4zBnBgR

— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) July 11, 2021

Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell tweeted: “This is outrageous. The @FBI has a growing credibility problem and this type of sinister snitching is clearly unhelpful. Why hasn’t the @fbi made more progress finding the BLM rioters from last summer? Why hasn’t the @fbi leadership apologized for the Russian hoax they pushed?

This is outrageous. The @FBI has a growing credibility problem and this type of sinister snitching is clearly unhelpful.

Why hasn’t the @fbi made more progress finding the BLM rioters from last summer? Why hasn’t the @fbi leadership apologized for the Russian hoax they pushed? https://t.co/twmZp7M1wI

— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) July 11, 2021

Mike Doran, Middle East expert and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, tweeted: “If any person takes this seriously, I feel sorry for them. The FBI encourages us to snitch on family members. Meanwhile FBI leaders cover up for the transgressions of their colleagues, to say nothing of their families.”

If any person takes this seriously, I feel sorry for them. The FBI encourages us to snitch on family members. Meanwhile FBI leaders cover up for the transgressions of their colleagues, to say nothing of their families. https://t.co/aZqaIGoKAh

— Mike (@Doranimated) July 11, 2021

Townhall columnist and Army Col. (Ret.) Kurt Schlichter tweeted: “Meanwhile in Cuba…”:

Meanwhile in Cuba… https://t.co/sWUrqTeZzd

— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) July 12, 2021

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Kristina Wong