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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 168672 Find in a Library
Title: Militias: Initiating Contact
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:66  Issue:7  Dated:July 1997  Pages:22-26
Author(s): J E Duffy; A C Brantley
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 5
Document: HTML
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Because the growth of the organized militia movement represents one of the most significant social trends of the 1990's, this article summarizes what is known about the militia movement and outlines procedures that can be used by law enforcement agencies to initiate constructive dialogue with militia groups.
Abstract: Most militia members are white males who range in age from the early 20's to the mid-50's. Most militia members appear to be attracted to the movement because of gun control issues. Militia members generally maintain strong Christian beliefs and justify their actions by claiming to be ardent defenders of the Constitution. Using their interpretation of constitutional rights and privileges, militia members and antigovernment extremists have challenged Federal and State laws and have questioned the authority of elected officials to govern, tax, and maintain order. Still, many militia members and individuals who espouse antigovernment beliefs remain law-abiding citizens and do not advocate terrorist acts. Law enforcement officials should make proactive contacts with militia leaders so that the two sides can voice their concerns and discuss relevant issues in a nonconfrontational way. Contacts with militia groups should be made by ranking police department personnel who are in a position to speak with authority. Law enforcement agencies should not use contacts with militia groups to gain or confirm intelligence information, however, because a conversational tone needs to be established that will lead to an open discussion of issues important to both sides. In addition, law enforcement officials should assess the threat level of a militia group before attempting to make contact. A threat assessment typology developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist law enforcement agencies in determining the threat level posed by individual militia groups is included. 1 endnote
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Counter-terrorism tactics; Police policies and procedures; Police response to terrorism; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Subversive activities; Terrorist ideologies
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