SWAT Team Takes on "Native Born Terrorists" In Florida Exercise
A SWAT training exercise mounted by the Broward Sheriff's Office, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, and the FBI portrayed "native born" Americans carrying out a terrorist attack on Port Everglades, part of the accelerating demonization of American citizens as domestic extremists.
The drill was based around "sovereign citizens" attempting to steal a shipment of ammunition traveling through the facility by seizing hostages and planting bombs as part of their wider agenda to overthrow the government.
"These weren't foreign-born America-hating terrorists. These were native-born America-hating terrorists. And they were making things difficult for the good guys," barks a dramatic Florida Sun Sentinel report.
The whole spectacle was basically an opportunity for the Fort Lauderdale Police SWAT team to show off its arsenal of militarized gear, including "Two Bears — massive armored vehicles with turrets for automatic weapons fire — a beefed up front-end loader that lifted an overturned car like a toy and Hummers packed with serious firepower."
The exercise ended with the seven terrorists - being played by FBI agents - "neutralized" and all the hostages rescued.
"It's all about being prepared," said SWAT chief Capt. Eddie Grant. "South Florida is a hot area, we have a stadium, two major ports. We have a lot of high-profile targets."
As we have documented, the trend of the federal government portraying American citizens as terrorists in both training exercises and promotional material has gone hand in hand with the increasing militarization of law enforcement.
Last month, former Marine Corps Colonel Peter Martino, who was stationed in Fallujah and trained Iraqi soldiers, warned that the Department of Homeland Security is working with law enforcement to build a “domestic army,” because the federal government is "afraid of its own citizens."
Speaking in relation to a decision on whether the Concord City Council would accept a $260,000 Homeland Security grant on behalf of the Central New Hampshire Special Operations Unit to purchase a BearCat armored vehicle, Martino cautioned, “What’s happening here is we’re building a domestic military,” adding that police are now “wearing the exact same combat gear that we had in Iraq, only it was a different color.”
Characterization of politically motivated Americans as domestic extremists has become a familiar practice for the DHS.
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.”
Back in March, Arkansas State Fusion Center Director Richard Davis admitted that the federal agency spies on Americans deemed to be “anti-government,” noting that the DHS concentrates on, “domestic terrorism and certain groups that are anti-government. We want to kind of take a look at that and receive that information,” so-called threats which included people, “putting political stickers in public bathrooms or participating in movements against the death penalty.”
Last year, a DHS-funded study produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland characterized Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.
The DHS also stoked controversy in 2011 when it released a series of videos to promote the See Something, Say Something campaign in which almost all of the terrorists portrayed in the PSAs were white Americans.
The 2009 MIAC report, published by the Missouri Information Analysis Center and first revealed by Infowars, also framed Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, people who own gold, or even people who fly a U.S. flag, as potential terrorists.