Shortly before the hacker collective LulzSec shut down its operations last week after a 50-day hacking spree, the group released a trove of law enforcement documentation. Many of these reports pertain to Arizona police agencies and were released as a critique of that state’s laws criminalizing illegal immigration. However, other reports released by LulzSec offer a clear window into the “domestic terrorist” threat posed by Anarchists.
It’s commonly known that American law enforcement keeps close tabs on the Anarchist movement, and has done so for years. A report from the Missouri Information Analysis Center, one of dozens of fusion centers that collect and disseminate information to local law enforcement agencies, breaks down several strains of Anarchism and associated groups.
The ideological strains identified by the report are: Anarcha-Masculinism, Anarcha-Feminism, Anarcho-Communism, Anarcho-Syndicalism, Anarcho-Primitivism, Green Anarchism and Christian Anarchism. Here is a brief primer from the MIAC report on Anarchist ideology at large, which MIAC claims “poses a significant domestic terrorist threat at this time”:
There are many different ideologies that an anarchist may follow. Although there may be a number of differences, they all contain the same central belief. Anarchism is the idea that government (the state) is unnecessary and harmful. Anarchy is society without government. Anarchists are people who desire to live in a society without rulers as their ancestors once did. The main belief is that the community in which they live be dependant only upon itself. People who believe in government (such as liberals, conservatives, socialists and fascists) are known as “statists”. Anarchism opposes all forms of hierarchical control.
The terms “anarchism” and “anarchy” are often confused in their meaning. When most people think Anarchist, they think of the chaotic Molotov cocktail throwing teenager (which grew out of the Anarcho-Punk persona) or ALF/ELF members (Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front – Eco-Anarchism, Green Anarchism, or Anarcho-Primitivism ideologies). Although there are a few direct action radical sub-groups not all believe in violence.
More detail on each sect’s activities and belief systems are available in the report posted below.
In spite of the Missouri fusion center report, a 2008 Department of Homeland Security “Threat Assessment” shows there is not a consensus in the law enforcement community about how serious a hazard Anarchist activity poses to national security. Environmental and animal rights activists, who are associated with a strain of Anarchism called “Green Anarchism, are identified as “the most active of domestic groups” classified as terrorists. Anarchists also have “well-developed capabilities in surveillance, arson and the use of small explosives. Prisons are also identified as a recruiting groups for new followers.
However, the 2008 DHS Threat Assessment does acknowledge that Anarchists are known for property damage, and rarely carry out actions that may result in a loss of life. Right wing groups such as citizen militias and white supremacists are classified as extremists capable of lethal violence, albeit on a limited scale.