DHS-Funded Exercise Portrays “Free America Citizens” as Terrorist Cell
Branding of Tea Party as violent extremists accelerates
Paul Joseph Watson
June 12, 2013
A Homeland Security-funded training exercise in Boston dubbed “Operation Urban Shield” that was delayed due to April’s marathon bombing revolved around a terrorist cell dubbed “Free America Citizens,” another indication of how the DHS is characterizing liberty-loving Americans as domestic extremists.
“Months of painstaking planning had gone into the exercise, dubbed “Operation Urban Shield,” meant to train dozens of detectives in the Greater Boston area to work together to thwart a terrorist threat. The hypothetical terrorist group was even given a name: Free America Citizens, a home-grown cadre of militiamen whose logo would be a metal skull wearing an Uncle Sam hat and a furious expression,” reports the Boston Globe.
The drill, which was funded with the aid of a $200,000 Department of Homeland Security grant and was set to involve DHS officials along with other federal authorities, centered on the scenario of domestic terrorists leaving explosive-filled backpacks at locations around the city. The exercise was due to take place this weekend but was postponed in response to the Boston bombings and is now expected to go ahead early next year.
The exercise, many details of which remain confidential, has been crafted to test the investigative skills of detectives involved who will be tasked with finding out the motivation behind the “Free America” terrorists.
The drill was planned before the Boston bombings and officials from a dozen agencies have been meeting for months to plan the scenario. The exercise bore “eerie similarities” to the real attack in that police were tasked with identifying terrorists from street surveillance camera footage.
Over the course of the last five years, the DHS has been criticized for its involvement in numerous training exercises and the production of material which demonizes conservatives and libertarians as domestic extremists, putting them in the same league as violent terrorists.