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Report: Biden Administration weaponizes DHS 'anti-terrorism' program against political opponents

Those paying attention to official D.C. already know that Joe Biden’s political strategy involves portraying his political rivals, as not just wrong on policy or facts but as altogether illegitimate.

Now, recently revealed documents from an “anti-terrorism” grant program administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) illustrate the mutually reinforcing feedback loop between the Biden White House and its collaborators in academia. As those documents indicate, the administration uses taxpayer funds to support “educational” and “training” programs that portray the opposing political party — and various mainstream groups like the NRA that champion causes popular with Republicans — as gateways to violent radicalization.

The program at issue is DHS’ “Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program” (TVTP). Its asserted goals include providing

financial assistance to eligible applicants to develop sustainable, multidisciplinary, targeted violence and terrorism prevention capabilities in local communities, to pilot innovative prevention approaches, and to identify prevention best practices that can be replicated in communities across the country.

The Obama/Biden Administration launched the TVTP program in 2011, supposedly as a response to Al-Qaeda trying to recruit and radicalize American citizens. More recently, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — a staunch Biden political ally — called the program “high priority” in an internal memo.

Among TVTP’s 2022 Fiscal Year awards was $352,109 to the University of Dayton Human Rights Center to implement its project, “Preventing Radicalization to Extremist Violence through Education, Network-Building and Training in Southwest Ohio (PREVENTS-OH).” Proponents of the project claimed it would:

raise awareness of the radicalization to violence process and establish a local prevention framework to counter it, develop and implement modules on the risks of and protective factors for radicalization to violence related to media literacy and online critical thinking for students, and improve civic engagement and build intergroup trust by conducting community dialogues on sensitive topics related to domestic violent extremism and developing local dialogue facilitation capacities.

What is now gaining attention, however, are the materials the University of Dayton Human Rights Center used to illustrate and substantiate the type of “education” it would seek to provide with the awarded funds. Those materials came to light thanks to an investigative effort launched by the Media Research Center Free Speech America project.

The University’s grant application, according to media reports, referenced materials from a PREVENTS-OH seminar presented in 2021 and entitled “Extremism, Rhetoric, and Democratic Precarity.” Speakers at the seminar included a DHS official and University of Cincinnati researcher Michael Loadenthal, whose professional biography recounts his accomplishments in “protest campaigns” for far-Left causes, including “anarchist” and “anti-capitalist” movements.

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Loadenthal’s presentation on “Digital Communities of the Modern Far-Right” included a graphic entitled “The Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization.” At the base of the pyramid of these supposed “radicals” were mainstream political, media, and non-governmental organizations, including the NRA, the Heritage Foundation, Fox News, the Christian Broadcasting Network, and even the Republican Party itself! The next level (supposedly representing a further progression toward violent radicalization) featured MAGA supporters, Breitbart News, Prager University, and the pro-police organization Blue Lives Matter. Above them on the third level was the Nazi Party itself. And above that on the top level were militia groups that advocate for racism and violent political change.

Other presenters at the 2021 PREVENTS-OH seminar, according to the MRC, suggested that individuals who oppose controversial policies promoted by the Biden Administration are ripe for infiltration by radicals. One speaker even suggested that current GOP presidential contender and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis might try to engineer a second Holocaust.

DHS, in a statement to the media, emphasized that the 2021 PREVENTS-OH seminar was not funded, organized, or hosted by DHS, and DHS did not endorse the “The Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization.”

Nevertheless, a DHS official was present at the event where that material and those narratives were presented. And the organization that hosted the event presenting those views to the public was the same organization receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funding through a TVTP grant for Fiscal Year 2022.

Moreover, although PREVENTS-OH scrubbed its own website of references to the 2021 seminar, according the Media Research Center, references to it are still archived on the Internet.

The NRA responded to the revelations by pointing out the obvious: “Protecting 2A isn't terrorism, it's patriotism.”

Patriots, however, are now on notice that the runaway Biden administration will do whatever it can to use the levers of official power against them to consolidate his own authority and to suppress any opposition. Their best hope is to wrest his hands away from those levers in the 2024 presidential election.

© 2023 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.

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