A leaked FBI internal bulletin on domestic terrorism lists U.S. Capitol shooting victim Ashli Babbitt as someone considered a “martyr” by militia violent extremists (MVE) and the Second Amendment as how militias “justify their existence” because of a reference to a “well-regulated Militia” and the right to bear arms.
The “Domestic Terrorism Symbols Guide” was leaked to Project Veritas, which released images of the bulletin on its website and social media on Aug. 2. It includes such common images as the Gadsden flag, the Betsy Ross flag, and the Liberty Tree.
The document includes terms and symbols that are very familiar in conservative, law enforcement, and military circles. In the introduction, the FBI stressed that simply using the terms or symbols is not evidence of wrongdoing.
“The use or sharing of these symbols alone should not independently be considered evidence of MVE presence or affiliation, or serve as an indicator of illegal activity, as many individuals use these symbols for their original historic meaning or other non-violent purposes,” the bulletin reads.
Many on the right, however, are likely to see the bulletin as further evidence of federal government acrimony for conservatives in the wake of Jan. 6 unrest at the Capitol.
“Widespread use of symbols and quotes from American history, especially the Revolutionary War, exists within MVE networks,” the bulletin says. “Historic and contemporary military themes are common for MVE symbols.”
The document is marked “unclassified/law enforcement sensitive” and “for internal use only.”