Michael Paul Williams: Terrorism report offends all

Michael Paul Williams: Terrorism report offends all

The Richmond metropolitan area’s historically black colleges — Virginia Union University and Virginia State University — form a “radicalization node.”

Similarly, the presence of historically black Norfolk State University and Hampton University and evangelical Regent University increase the terrorist threat in Hampton Roads.

These assertions are among the findings of a report published last month by the Virginia Fusion Center, a 10-person unit of the Virginia State Police and the state Department of Emergency Management that was created to improve the sharing of anti-terrorism intelligence.

The report’s 200-plus pages paint the terrorism threat with such a broad brush that Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, at the behest of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, is investigating.

“I find the depictions in the report misleading and believe it improperly implicates these fine academic institutions,” Kaine said in a statement Tuesday.

“Based on our review of the facts thus far, we see no evidence to suggest that the universities referred to in the assessment pose any particular risk to public safety. Absent specific evidence suggesting such a risk, it is improper to single out these institutions for special mention even with the caveats contained in the report.”

Radical Islamists, white supremacists, black separatists, environmental and animal-rights activists, hackers, and anti-abortion and anti-Scientology groups are among more than 50 organizations named as potential threats.


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