SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2009, Issue No. 34
April 14, 2009

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

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DHS SEES RESURGENCE IN RIGHTWING EXTREMISM

"The consequences of a prolonged economic downturn--including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit--could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities," according to a new assessment from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

"In addition, the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes are proving to be a driving force for rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization."

"A recent example of the potential violence associated with a rise in rightwing extremism may be found in the shooting deaths of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 4 April 2009," the DHS report said.

See "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis, April 7, 2009 (For Official Use Only):

The report has drawn attention from several conservative bloggers and talk show hosts, who interpreted the report's references to right-wing positions on abortion, immigration and gun control as defamatory in this context. The "document targets most conservatives and libertarians in the country," according to The Liberty Papers blog.

The report, however, describes "extremists" more narrowly as those "that are primarily hate-oriented" and those that "reject federal authority," not those who simply oppose abortion or immigration.

A 2001 report prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy examined "Left-Wing Extremism: The Current Threat."

DHS reportedly issued its own analysis of left-wing extremism earlier this year.


SNIPER TRAINING MANUAL REMAINS OFFLINE

"When... dealing with multiple targets, such as two hostage-takers, [snipers] must coordinate to fire simultaneously," according to a U.S. Army sniper training manual. "Taking [the targets] out one at a time may allow the second suspect time to harm the hostages."

This was the scenario facing Navy SEALs on the Indian Ocean on April 12. They fired simultaneously at three Somali pirates, killing them and rescuing an American hostage.

"Shooting simultaneously by command fire with another sniper is a very important skill to develop and requires much practice," the Army manual advises.

A copy of the U.S. Army Special Forces Sniper Training and Employment manual (FM 3-05.222) was obtained by Secrecy News. Although the document is unclassified, it is subject to restricted distribution in order "to protect technical or operational information."

For once, such restrictions appear to make sense and the 474-page manual will not be posted on the Federation of American Scientists website. But as always, views on the question of disclosure differ. A 2003 discussion on the "Shooter's Forum" website presented contrasting opinions on the desirability of publishing this Manual.


CRS ON THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

"There seems to be no international architecture capable of coping with and preventing global [financial] crises from erupting," a newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service observes.

"The financial space above nations basically is anarchic with no supranational authority with firm oversight, regulatory, and enforcement powers. There are international norms and guidelines, but most are voluntary, and countries are slow to incorporate them into domestic law. As such, the system operates largely on trust and confidence and by hedging financial bets."

The 109-page CRS report reviews the origins of the current crisis and summarizes its impact in different regions and countries. The report has not been made readily available to the public online. A copy was obtained by Secrecy News. See "The Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Policy Implications," April 3, 2009:

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Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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