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TWI Cited in DHS ‘Rightwing Extremism’ Report

After filing a Freedom of Information Act request, the Virginia-based Americans for Limited Government obtained documents from the Department of Homeland Security detailing how its controversial report on the rise of “rightwing extremism” was put together. Among the sources (pdf): The New York Times, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and this Washington Independent story on the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot.

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When Eli Lake and Audrey Hudson broke the news of the report on April 14, it sent shockwaves around the conservative movement — former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, among others, demanded that someone be fired for the report, while many activists made a joke out of it. One conservative legal group sued Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, claiming the report violated “the civil liberties of combat veterans as well as American citizens by targeting them for disfavored treatment on account of their political beliefs.”

Shortly before the release of the report, a man in Pittsburgh who posted to the white supremacist Website Stormfront.org shot and killed three police officers. In June, James Von Brunn — whose writings contained anti-Semitic views and doubts about President Obama’s citizenship — killed a security guard at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

ALG’s Bill Wilson has denounced the sourcing that DHS revealed after the FOIA request, saying that it was “not based on credible intelligence sources, reporting, and analysis.”

Instead, what we found is that the Department was apparently surfing the net to see what news stories happened to turn up to support a pre-determined conclusion.

*You can follow TWI on Twitter and Facebook. *

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