(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The FBI has recently recruited informants to spy inside churches, and relied on at least one undercover employee to generate a recent intelligence report on the so-called threat of “radical-traditionalist Catholics,” according to the House Judiciary Committee.
The committee revealed this finding on Monday, after reviewing documents from the FBI about its targeting of Catholics.
🚨 #BREAKING: We now know the FBI, relying on information derived from at least one 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 employee, sought to use local religious organizations as “new avenues for tripwire and source development.” pic.twitter.com/97veIGtvq4
— Weaponization Committee (@Weaponization) April 10, 2023
Legislators demanded the documents after a leaked intelligence bulletin surfaced in February, citing Southern Poverty Law Center information to justify targeting “radical-traditionalist Catholics” as potential violent domestic extremists.
The FBI quickly backtracked from the memo at the time, saying it had been drafted in error. But the Monday announcement from the Judiciary Committee suggested otherwise.
“The FBI relied on information derived from at least one undercover employee and sought to use local religious organizations as ‘new avenues for tripwire and source development,’” the committee said, citing heavily redacted FBI records.
“This proposed outreach plan included contacting so-called ‘mainline Catholic parishes’ and the local ‘diocesan leadership,’” it continued. “The documents reveal that the FBI also expressed an interest in ‘leverag[ing] existing sources and/or initiat[ing] Type 5 Assessments to develop new sources with the placement and access’ to report on suspicious activity.”
The Judiciary Committee’s reference of a “Type 5 Assessment” is about the controversial FBI practice of investigating people without any criminal predicate of wrongdoing. The Government Accountability told Headline USA last month that it is investigating the FBI’s use of these “assessments.”
The Judiciary Committee additionally noted that the FBI planned to “engage in outreach to the leadership of other [Society of Saint Pius X] chapels in the FBI Richmond [area of responsibility] to sensitize these congregations to the warning signs of radicalization and to enlist their assistance to serve as suspicious activity tripwires.”
After reviewing the heavily redacted FBI documents, the Judiciary Committee called for the bureau to release all responsive material without redactions.
“This information is outrageous and reinforces the Committee’s need for all FBI records about the domain perspective document,” the committee said.
“Accordingly, and because [FBI] Director [Chris] Wray has not fully responded to the Committee’s earlier voluntary requests, Chairman Jordan is issuing a subpoena to the FBI for all records about the FBI’s January 23 domain perspective document,” it added.
The discovery follows another recent revelation that the bureau was using online lingo, including “based” and “Chad,” to flag users as potential extremists, Summit News reported.
Under the supervision of Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Justice Department has been determined to push a spurious narrative that white, U.S.-born conservatives posed the greatest threat to national security, eclipsing international terrorism, even as dangerous criminals continue to flood across the open southern border.
Among other victims, Garland has targeted soccer moms attending school board meetings; peaceful, Christian pro-life activists; and a Twitter user who made a meme mocking Hillary Clinton voters.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.