By James F. Tracy
Defining Domestic Lone Wolf Terrorism
Section 802 of PATRIOT Act and “Domestic Terrorism”
Radicalization via “conspiracy theories” have inevitably led to violence and signal potential acts of domestic terrorism. This is how Google, Interpol and the Las Vegas police have interpreted the social media activities of 24-year-old Bryce Cuellar.
The Las Vegas Sun reports:
Shortly before allegedly punching and threatening to kill his wife, the apparently intoxicated and heavily armed 24-year-old man stepped in front of a camera.
In the 15-minute video filmed and posted to YouTube on July 1, Bryce Cuellar slurred and mispronounced his words, declaring he was a Christian warrior ready to kill homosexuals and Satanists, according to authorities.
Cuellar has been known to Metro Police for about three years, during which time he has [been] increasingly radicalized, according to his arrest report. The July message was aggressive enough to constitute a credible threat.
It was also credible enough to a jury, which indicted him Wednesday, court records show. He is to face one felony count each of making threats or conveying false information concerning acts of terrorism, conspiracy to commit a crime, and one misdemeanor of attempting to destroy evidence.
Cuellar was arrested the night he filmed the video on one count of misdemeanor domestic battery, police said. The next day, Interpol, alerted by Google, reached out to Metro’s counterterrorism center to report the video.
In an interview, Cuellar told detectives he “screwed up with the video” and that he was angry, and drunk from consuming substantial amounts of beer in a 30-minute span, but that he was not a murderer, the report said. His wife, also booked at the Clark County Detention Center that day, provided little assistance in the investigation.
The report continues:
Cuellar’s ideology is rooted in government conspiracies, such as one involving the Illuminati, which some believe to be a secret society that controls world governments and economies, police said.
“America is done and America is over, ‘F— America’ and he will fire his gun in order to initiate a civil war within the United States and within the government,” he said, according to the report. He ends by saying he wants to kill Satanists and homosexuals.
A detective who prepared the arrest report wrote that the video is similar to propaganda videos produced by international terrorist organizations. [Emphasis added]
Online posts credited by authorities to Cuellar also demonstrate his “long-held” anti-government, sovereign citizen and militia ideologies, which have increasingly turned more aggressive the past three years, police said.
Cuellar is being held at the Clark County Detention Center where he is serving time for the battery conviction until November, jail logs show. On the charges stemming from the video, he’s being held on a $100,000 bail.
Like thousands of social media outlets, Cuellar’s YouTube channel does indeed include videos highlighting unusual public events like 9/11, in addition to questioning alleged mass shooting incidents that has now become commonplace at this blog. Further, the story of his apparent indiscretions and incarceration have been heavily promoted by several leftish outlets (i.e. here, here, here, here). Indeed, his story is featured prominently since the 24-year-old fits the “crazed right wing gun nut” stereotype.
What these “liberal” venues fail to recognize (or perhaps willfully ignore) is the fact that while Cuellar may be a maladjusted young man he may ultimately be charged for thought crimes under the USA PATRIOT Act. Moreover, such a law can be used just as easily on individuals who have any discernible political ideology, and are engaged in any political activism intended to influence public opinion through rhetoric or action.
As readers may recall, Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act expands the definition of terrorism–traditionally conceived of as international in origin–to cover “domestic” purported forms.
A person engages in domestic terrorism if they partake in an act “dangerous to human life” that is a violation of the criminal laws of a state or the United States, if the act appears to be intended to:
(i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion;
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.
With the above in mind, the definition of domestic terrorism is expansive enough to include the activities of organizations, activists or protestors who are exercising their Constitutional rights to persuade (“coerce”) a civilian population to their political viewpoint, and/or to influence government policy. In other words this involves Freedom of Speech.
Thus under the PATRIOT Act those who oppose existing laws and policies and choose to influence public opinion and their governments for a redress of grievances are domestic terrorists, provided they break a specific law–any law.
In a truly free society Cuellar’s posturing and diatribes, however disturbing and politically incorrect they may be, might be scoffed at or scorned. The fact that they attract the attention of Google’s online spy force and the International Police, and now constitute the basis for potential criminal prosecution, is more-than-ample proof that we live in a fear-driven police state where once-cherished constitutional protections are a dead letter.
H/t Peace Frog