FBI, This Week: Booklet Helps Public Identify Homegrown Violent Extremists


September 27, 2019

The 2019 version of the Homegrown Violent Extremist Mobilization Indicators booklet describes behaviors that, when considered in context, could raise red flags worthy of reporting to law enforcement.


Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: The FBI and its partners at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center are engaging the public in their efforts to identify and mitigate the homegrown violent extremist threat.

The 2019 version of the Homegrown Violent Extremist Mobilization Indicators booklet describes behaviors that, when considered in context, could raise red flags worthy of reporting to law enforcement.

Michael Machtinger is a unit chief in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.

Michael Machtinger: We recognize the need to provide these indicators to the public and to community leaders and to our private sector partners so that they would understand and feel confident about when they can and should go to law enforcement to tell us about someone who may be a problem before that person was able to mobilize and conduct a deadly attack.

Halpern: Homegrown violent extremists usually act alone and are separate from the foreign terrorist organizations that inspire them.

It’s what makes them difficult to find but Machtinger says public engagement is working.

Machtinger: What we've seen over the last few years is that cases on individuals who attempted to mobilize and conduct an attack—which we call plotters—but were disrupted by the FBI, about a quarter of them were identified from community tips.

Halpern: The booklet was originally published in 2015 after a comprehensive study of prior attackers’ observable behaviors.

The booklet has been updated over the past four years.

Find a link to the booklet on fbi.gov. With FBI, This Week, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.

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