Barkun briefs executives on “Bundy militia”-style crises
Political scientist and domestic terrorism expert recently
advised the Colorado Federal Executive Board Council on resistance movements.
Following the recent San Bernadino attack and the militia
occupation of public lands in Oregon, U.S. federal executives recently sought advice
from the Maxwell School on the management of such crises. On February 9,
Michael Barkun, professor emeritus of political science, briefed the Colorado Federal Executive Board
Council (CFEB) on emergency preparedness in relation to independent, resistance
movements such as the so-called “Bundy militia” in Oregon. Barkun has
written at length on apocalyptic groups, political extremism, and the
relationship between religion and violence. He has served as a consultant to
the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group and currently serves on the academic
advisory board of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project.
organizations preparing for such contingencies, Barkun said, “There is little likelihood
that intelligence will be available on lone wolf perpetrators before they
act. The difficulty, of course, is how
to separate truly dangerous people from the much larger number who are harmless.
. . . Those who have made threats before
are an obvious risk category. Those with particularly inflammatory, publicly
accessible websites constitute another.”
Barkun noted, just as certain people and groups are more likely to pose a
legitimate threat, so too are certain institutions at a higher risk of being
targeted. Organizations serving potentially inflammatory purposes such as tax
collection, abortion services, or — as in the case of Oregon — federal land
management, are more likely to draw the ire of these extremist individuals and groups.
CFEB acts as a conduit organization for U.S. government
federal executives in its region — one of a number of such federal executive
boards throughout the country. It promotes intergovernmental collaboration and
communication with local communities, workforce development, and emergency
preparedness. In monthly intergovernmental meetings focused on continuity of
service to communities, CFEB emphasizes the practical steps government
officials can take to prepare for the unexpected. 02/19/16