|Lenco BearCat - Wiki image|
Police in Concord, New Hampshire have applied for a grant to acquire a $258,000 armored vehicle from the DHS to combat domestic terrorism.
According to their application, they cited "active threats" from domestic "terror" groups like Free State Project and Occupy New Hampshire as the primary reason for requiring this military equipment.
New Hampshire's Union Leader newspaper reports:
In its grant application to DHS, the police department said New Hampshire's experience with terrorism "slants primarily towards the domestic type," and said "the threat is real and here."
"Groups such as the Sovereign Citizens, Free Staters and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges," the application stated. In addition to organized groups, it cited "several homegrown clusters that are anti-government and pose problems for law enforcement agencies."
Notably, these domestic groups were the only specific parties named as "terrorist" threats in the grant request.
Section B of the grant application precisely says:
The State of New Hampshire's experience with terrorism slants primarily towards the domestic type. We are fortunate that our State has not been victimized from a mass casualty event from an international terrorism strike however on the domestic front, the threat is real and here. Groups such as the Sovereign Citizens, Free Staters and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges. Outside of officially organized groups, several homegrown clusters that are anti-government and pose problems for law enforcement agencies.The police don't explain why they think Free Staters pose a violent threat to them. It seems clear from all of their material that they represent non-aggression, liberty, and personal responsibility. Apparently those are dangerous concepts to an increasingly militarized police state.
None of the groups specifically named have ever threatened, committed or even been suspected of engaging in violent acts in New Hampshire.
Executive Director of New Hampshire's Civil Liberties Union [NHCLU] Devon Chaffee called the language "alarming."
"It's far from clear to us why an armored vehicle would be necessary to address what are generally, by and large, non-violent movements that in fact provide little or no threat to the security of our state," she said.
The exact vehicle the police hope to acquire is Lenco's BearCat which is a bomb and bullet proof "Specialized Response and Rescue Vehicle."
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