House Subcommittee Report Reveals FBI’s Alleged Targeting of Catholics and Pro-Lifers as Potential Domestic Terrorists

A new report from the House Weaponization Subcommittee claims that the FBI “abused its counterterrorism tools” by targeting Catholics and pro-lifers as potential domestic terrorists, according to documents released on Monday. The investigation, prompted by the retraction of an internal FBI memorandum in February, details how the agency allegedly singled out individuals with Catholic and pro-life beliefs, labeling them as potential threats.

The internal memorandum from the Richmond field office had described traditionalist Roman Catholics as “radical” and accused them of espousing ideologies deemed as “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and white supremacist.” The report emphasizes that the FBI specifically targeted Americans who are pro-life, pro-family, and support the biological basis for sex and gender distinction, potentially violating their religious liberties.

The memo, according to the subcommittee’s findings, cited the run-up to the next general election cycle and the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision overturning Roe v. Wade as key factors. The report alleges that the FBI had direct communication with Catholic clergy and staff about parishioners practicing their faith, including a meeting with a bishop and a choir director in Virginia.

The subcommittee contends that, had it not been for a whistleblower making the memo public, it might still be in effect, infringing on the religious liberties of millions of Catholic Americans. Despite multiple requests from the committee, the FBI reportedly has no estimate on how many other field offices had access to the memo, and it cannot confirm outreach to Catholic parishes as a result.

The report criticizes the FBI for withholding information and failing to provide documentation of the memo’s conception and distribution. The internal review of the situation, conducted by the FBI, reportedly found “errors at every step of the drafting, review, and approval of Richmond’s Catholic ‘intelligence product.'”

Furthermore, the report reveals that one of the memo’s authors admitted that the Southern Poverty Law Center, cited in the document, was known for “political bias.” The report underscores concerns about the FBI’s reliance on politically biased sources and its failure to provide caveats about the credibility of those sources.

As of now, the FBI has not responded to requests for comment on the report.

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