FBI Warns Police Nation-Wide : GFR Letters Could Spark Violence
FBI issues national warning to Law Enforcement re' Guardians of the Free Republic''s Call for Governors' removal in all states
FBI National Warning Comes at time of Increased Vigilance against domestic terror groups and on heels of Hutaree arrests
The FBI has issued a nation-wide warning to Law Enforcement that a group called the Guardians of the free Republics and their request to remove states' governors could incite violence.
FBI agents say the group is peaceful, but that they believe that broad call for removal of top state officials could incite other various groups and individuals to violence. Thus far, at least two states have responded by vamping up security measures and protocol.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty received one of the letters, but is taking it in stride.
"We get all kinds of, shall we say, 'interesting' mail, so it's not out of the norm," Pawlenty said Friday. "It got more attention because it went to so many governors."
This week more than 30 governors across the country have received letters requesting that they leave office of their own accord, or they will be removed, said the Department of Homeland Security. The note which made this claim has been obtained by the Associated Press.
It is expected by FBI officials that all 50 states will receive such requests at their respective Governor's offices.
Governors whose offices reported getting the letters included Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Chet Culver of Iowa, Dave Heineman of Nebraska, Jim Gibbons of Nevada, Brad Henry ofOklahoma, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Bob McDonnell of Virginia, and Gary Herbert of Utah, where officials stepped up security in response to the letter.
In Nevada, screening machines for visitors and packages were added to the main entrance to the state Capitol as a precaution.
"We're not really overly concerned, but at the same time we don't want to sit back and do nothing and regret it," Deputy Chief of Staff Lynn Hettrick said.
In most cases, staff were alerted prior to the arrival of the letter, and letters have been turned over to state law enforcement officials.
For example, Bobby Jindal's office confirmed that the Louisiana governor had received one of the letters and directed questions to theLouisiana State Police.
Increasing national attention to far-right extremist groups after the arrest of nine Hutaree militia members accused of conspiring violence against the federal government makes this spate of incidents more pressing.
Internal intelligence sources from the FBI have sent a notice to all states calling the senders "sovereign citizens" rather than tagging them as a militia group.
The Southern Poverty Law Report recently stated that there has been an increase of some 244% in right-wing based movements which may become involved in Domestic Terrorism.