Friday FOIA Fun – Homegrown Extremist Edition

Hi, and welcome to another installment of Friday FOIA Fun. This week, it isn’t just any old Friday FOIA Fun, however – it’s a very special homegrown extremist edition, wherein we are reminded that there are, in fact, white people out there who would like to kill us all, and – even more surprisingly – that the government is still concerned about these sad, pathetic, and above all pale terrorists. All of this, of course, is brought to us through the modern wonders of the Freedom of Information Act. Remember: When you positively, absolutely, have to know within three to six months, use the Act that some out of several researchers agree occasionally produces the goods: the Freedom of Information Act!

All hyperbole aside, though, the anal-retentive but inestimably well-meaning folks at the Department of Homeland Security recently released what they claim are every issue of the short-lived Domestic Terrorism Newsletter – seven issues in all. In addition to erratically redacting some, but not all, of the classification markings, they also redacted the issue and/or volume numbers, so we just have to trust that they’re telling the truth when they say this was it. Provided as really horrible photocopies, they’ve been scanned and turned into operating system-agnostic Adobe PDF files for your viewing and reading pleasure.

Before piling a bunch of hyperlinks on you, though, let’s look at just what the Domestic Terrorism Newsletter was, exactly. An irregularly-published newsletter first published in 2Q05 – sometime in or after May, 2005 – it was an unclassified, largely open-source publication provided to law enforcement throughout the country, which reported on noteworthy news items concerning domestic terrorists and terrorist acts. Rather than concentrating on militant Islamics, the emphasis was on more secular ne’er-do-wells – eco-terrorists, white-supremacists, right-wing anti-government nuts, and so on.

As can be seen from the table of contents of an early issue here, the Newsletter broke up its coverage into a couple of sections, which rarely stayed the same from issue to issue. One could argue that this was adaptability in the face of changing real-world conditions; one could also argue that DHS struggled to determine the scope and focus of the publication, and constantly experimented with the contents.

The last issue of the Domestic Terrorism Newsletter was in 2Q07, published in or after April, 2007. By that point, it was just two pages, covered seven items, and had almost as much analysis and commentary as it did excerpts from news articles. The writing was on the wall; bt the next issue the “Newsletter” had become the “Domestic Terrorism Digest”, and before the year was out it would make the complete transition to an intelligence report, dropping the two-column format of the Newsletter in favor of a more conventional report format.

I do also have all the issues to date of the Domestic Terrorism Digest, and will be making those available next week. Now, though, here are the seven issues of the Domestic Terrorism Newsletter, just in time for Earth Day:

Issue 1, ca May 2005

Issue 2, ca February 2006

Issue 3, ca July 2006

Issue 4, ca August 2006

Issue 5, ca October 2006

Issue 6, ca January 2007

Issue 7, ca April 2007

The numbering above is mine, not DHS’. All are Adobe PDF files between 2.5 and 4.5 MB in size.


Published in: Geekiness, General, History, Security | on April 18th, 2008| Comments Off on Friday FOIA Fun – Homegrown Extremist Edition

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