Who's a terrorist? AL site offers a distressingly broad definition

Summary:Who's a terrorist? Increasingly state governments and the Department of Homeland Security are attempting to tar all violent protesters with the brush of terrorism.

Who's a terrorist? Increasingly state governments and the Department of Homeland Security are attempting to tar all violent protesters with the brush of terrorism. An Alabama state website associated with DHS got into hot water recently when the site stated that domestic terrorists are found in many environmental, anti-abortion, gay rights, anti-war and other (left) movements, reports the Birmingham News.

The site garnered a flood of comments regarding the definition of the terrorist label, prompting the government to revise the site.

"In general, these terrorists claim that the U.S. government is infringing on their individual rights, and/or that the government's policies are criminal and immoral," the site stated. "Such groups may hold that the current government is violating the basic principles laid out by the U.S. Constitution and that a new world order is attempting to enslave humanity."

The Web site lumps hate groups and separatist groups, single-issue, environmental groups and anti-abortionists together. That's too broad a description, said critics.

"By the Web site's standards mentioned, opposition to gun control laws and excessive taxation makes one a terrorist. Insisting that we adhere to the Constitution makes one a terrorist," said Stephen P. Gordon, political director of the Libertarian National Committee.

Homeland Security Director Jim Walker didn't agree with the complaints, but defended the information on the site by saying it was borrowed with permission from an anti-terrorism site sponsored by the state of Pennsylvania.

"It's an idiot's guide to terrorism," Walker said. He said he disagreed with the critics because he thought the site differentiated terrorists from other people. The section on single-issue groups said terrorists were "willing to do anything for their cause."

"I thought it was fairly clear before," he said.

Topics: Government : US

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