Attorney General Bill Barr told state governors on Monday that the Department of Justice was prepared to use the FBI’s regional counterterrorism hubs to share information with local law enforcement about “extremists” and “agitators” in the protests sweeping the country.
Barr said the Justice Department would tap Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs)—regional groups that ordinarily unite area FBI agents with state, local and federal law enforcement to monitor and pursue suspected terrorists—to “identify people in the crowd, pull them out and prosecute them.”
It’s an early glimpse of how the Justice Department plans to make President Trump’s legally dubious threat to treat protesters as terrorists a reality. According to a JTTF veteran, it’s a flagrant misuse of the task forces. And it’s a sign that the ever-expanding war on terror is jumping yet another guardrail.
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