If you’re an anti-abortion activist, or if you display political paraphernalia supporting a third-party candidate or a certain Republican member of Congress, if you possess subversive literature, you very well might be a member of a domestic paramilitary group.
That’s according to “The Modern Militia Movement,” a report by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), a government collective that identifies the warning signs of potential domestic terrorists for law enforcement communities.
“Due to the current economical and political situation, a lush environment for militia activity has been created,” the Feb. 20 report reads. “Unemployment rates are high, as well as costs of living expenses. Additionally, President Elect Barrack [sic] Obama is seen as tight on gun control and many extremists fear that he will enact firearms confiscations.”
MIAC is one of 58 so-called “fusion centers” nationwide that were created by the Department of Homeland Security, in part, to collect local intelligence that authorities can use to combat terrorism and related criminal activities. More than $254 million from fiscal years 2004-2007 went to state and local governments to support the fusion centers, according to the DHS Web site.
During a press conference last week in Kansas City, Mo., DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano called fusion centers the “centerpiece of state, local, federal intelligence-sharing” in the future.
“Let us not forget the reason we are here, the reason we have the Department of Homeland Security and the reason we now have fusion centers, which is a relatively new concept, is because we did not have the capacity as a country to connect the dots on isolated bits of intelligence prior to 9/11,” Napolitano said, according to a DHS transcript.
“That’s why we started this…. Now we know that it’s not just the 9/11-type incidents but many, many other types of incidents that we can benefit from having fusion centers that share information and product and analysis upwards and horizontally.”
But some say the fusion centers are going too far in whom they identify as potential threats to American security.
The Minority Institution Astrobiology Collaborative is a virtual collaboration of faculty and students from minority institutions and organizations focused on achieving common educational and research goals in astrobiology.
The purpose of forming MIAC was to bring together individuals who share an interest in making significant contributions to the field of Astrobiology in both research and education. The importance of astrobiology as an interdisciplinary science is in its focus on some of the most important questions in the history of science. The multidisciplinary nature of this important field of science is the ideal climate for developing a collaborative group that would encourage national and international partnerships with minority institutions.
- Building a successful model for collaborations among scientists and educators at minority institutions (MIs) that will result in funded astrobiology research, peer-reviewed publications, and shared resources that benefit minority students.
- Developing astrobiology course work and educational outreach that will attract significant numbers of minority students into the field of astrobiology
- Creating research opportunities in astrobiology for minority students at minority institutions that result in student presentations and publications in astrobiology
- Developing an infrastructure that will lead to inclusion of members on NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) Teams.