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FBI Eyeing Trump Supporters: ‘MAGA’ Followers Labeled ‘Domestic Violent Extremists’

The FBI is reportedly conducting a secret investigation into supporters of former President Donald Trump in the run-up to the 2024 election, according to a new report.

Newsweek’s three-month investigation revealed that over a dozen current and former government officials specializing in terrorism have confirmed the FBI’s covert monitoring of MAGA Republicans.

This action has been taken due to the agency’s suspicion that Trump supporters are likely to be responsible for potential acts of violence, even potentially leading to civil unrest.

In October 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) unveiled a new subcategory of domestic terrorism known as AGAAVE (anti-government, anti-authority violent extremism).

This classification was created to target individuals motivated by a desire to commit violence against people with real or perceived associations with a specific political party or faction. According to an in-depth investigation, this new category primarily targets followers of the Make America Great Again campaign.

The outlet reported, “Government insiders acknowledged to Newsweek that although they are not named specifically, the AGAAVE-Other title applies to political violence associated with Trump supporters.”

“It was a subtle change, little noticed, but a gigantic departure for the Bureau,” according to Newsweek. “Trump and his army of supporters were acknowledged as a distinct category of domestic violent extremists, even as the FBI was saying publicly that political views were never part of its criteria to investigate or prevent domestic terrorism. Where the FBI sees threats is also plain from the way it categorizes them — a system which on the surface is designed to appear nonpartisan. This shifted subtly days after the events of January 6 when it comes to what the Bureau calls AGAAVE.”

The FBI said in a statement to Newsweek: “The threat posed by domestic violent extremists is persistent, evolving, and deadly. The FBI’s goal is to detect and stop terrorist attacks, and our focus is on potential criminal violations, violence, and threats of violence.

Anti-government or anti-authority violent extremism is one category of domestic terrorism, as well as one of the FBI’s top threat priorities.

We are committed to protecting the safety and constitutional rights of all Americans and will never open an investigation based solely on First Amendment protected activity, including a person’s political beliefs or affiliations.”

An anonymous senior intelligence official told Newsweek, “We’ve crossed the Rubicon. Trump’s army constitutes the greatest threat of violence domestically … politically … that’s the reality and the problem set. That’s what the FBI, as a law enforcement agency, has to deal with. But whether Trump and his supporters are a threat to national security, to the country, whether they represent a threat of civil war? That’s a trickier question. And that’s for the country to deal with, not the FBI.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security issued a report to Congress that warned:

The IC assesses that domestic violent extremists (DVEs) who are motivated by a range of ideologies and galvanized by recent political and societal events in the United States pose an elevated threat to the Homeland in 2021. Enduring DVE motivations pertaining to biases against minority populations and perceived government overreach will almost certainly continue to drive DVE radicalization and mobilization to violence. Newer sociopolitical developments -­ such as narratives of fraud in the recent general election, the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the U.S. Capitol, conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and conspiracy theories promoting violence will almost certainly spur some DVEs to try to engage in violence this year.

Newsweek reported that the FBI’s focus on Trump supporters could potentially inflame anti-government sentiment among those groups which the agency intends to combat.

Senator Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan and Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, voiced his concern that the FBI is not doing enough to address white supremacist terrorism.

President Joe Biden has asserted that MAGA movements pose a risk to national security.

In May 2022, Biden commented that the MAGA crowd is “the most extreme political organization in recent American history.” In August, he declared their philosophy as “semi-fascism,” and in September, he stated that Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans pose a risk to the foundations of our republic.

A senior intelligence official from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence noted that “Biden’s rhetoric on domestic terrorism could incite those dissatisfied with the electoral system, particularly those who no longer trust in elections or perceive them to be rigged, to take more extreme measures.”

“So we have the president increasing his own inflammatory rhetoric, which leads Donald Trump and the Republicans to do the same, which influences the news media, which influences the rhetoric,” the official said. “The FBI? It’s just in the middle of this mess, probably heading for trouble but mostly left out on a limb by the anger and indifference of the American public.”

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Joe Messina

Joe Messina

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