Some of the most zealous members of the "militia movement" that gained popularity during the '80s, and has continued in fits and starts since then,
have turned out to be federal agents. In fact, it's quite possible that the "militia movement" itself is the result of a government program, a
successor to COINTELPRO
with similar goals.
From a law enforcement point of view, it makes sense to attract and concentrate potentially dangerous radicals in groups supervised by one or more
officers and supported by surveillance teams. After enough evidence has been gathered, they round everyone up, put them on trial and send them off to
A rather infamous example of the process involved Randy Weaver
fame), who was introduced to undercover ATF agents at an
Usually, the outcome is less spectacular (i.e., ongoing surveillance eventually resulting peaceful arrests), but the procedure was common enough that
it's unlikely any significant militia group hasn't been infiltrated by informants or directly by sworn law enforcement officers.
Presumably, similar tactics can be used on the Internet, with the added advantage that agents aren't limited by geography or their physical ability
to meet with and monitor suspects. They can simply reel them in with websites and material that appeal to radicals, collect identifying information
from them and forward it to other officials for followup.
Thus when I see posts advocating the "bullet box" over the "ballot box", inciting violent, illegal conduct in general and attempting to rally
other members to do the same, I'm reminded of the law enforcement techniques described above.
Fortunately, discussion of illicit activities and recruiting are prohibited by the
AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use
, so the question of whether an
offending member is a potentially violent criminal or an agent provocateur is ultimately moot.
Neither are welcome, and members who should notice behavior common to either are well-advised to ALERT offending posts or otherwise
let us know
ATS is a community dedicated to Denying Ignorance through civil discussion, not a war zone, and all members should post accordingly.
P.S. Remember that recruiting or solicitations of any kind are strictly prohibited by the
. If anyone attempts to gather personal information from you for any reason,
whether in a post or U2U, whether asking you for an email (sending email gives them your email address) or simply clicking on a suspicious link (which
gives them your IP address and may expose you to malware attacks), please report
Whatever the reason, phishing
is not welcome on ATS.
[edit on 8/18/2009 by Majic]