FOIA Documents Reveal Department of Homeland Security Plans to Produce Training Videos on How to “Deradicalize” Friends and Family.

(Michael Benz is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Freedom Online. Previously, Mr. Benz served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Communications and Information Technology at the U.S. Department of State. Follow him on Twitter @FFO_Freedom.)

Foundation for Freedom

Newly obtained FOIA documents from America First Legal reveal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to produce training videos that get “bystanders” to intervene against “radicalization” of their peers.​

DHS targeted “suburban Moms” with pro-life beliefs and “old high school friends” who believe in “conspiracies” as examples of radicalized citizens in need of bystander intervention.

These findings add to the litany of evidence that DHS has shifted its focus from threats of foreign terrorism to monitoring and meddling in domestic US citizen political beliefs.

Apparently not content with setting up a Ministry of Truth, an Internet censorship directorate, and even a program for controlling speech in video games, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has devised yet another dystopian program for domestic thought control: pushing citizens to monitor each others’ political beliefs under the guise of “deradicalization.”

So reveal new documents obtained by America First Legal (AFL) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The FOIA files show DHS’s Office of Terrorism and Violence Prevention (“OTVTP,” now known as “CP3”) using taxpayer dollars in January 2021 to screenwrite an online “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style video series to “deradicalize” friends and family.

DHS’s “radicalization suspects” in the video screenplays are not violent terrorists or extremists. They are typical everyday Americans with typical everyday American opinions.

For example, DHS constructs a detailed profile for “Ann,” a “middle-aged pro-life advocate” — she is a “suburban Mom” surrounded by stock footage of “laundry” and “Minivan” who “has become increasingly more concerned about the welfare of other children:”


Ann is an example of an ordinary American who happens to have a pro-life opinion. But according to DHS, an agency first created to stop another 9/11, this opinion warrants a government-funded video training instructing her entire community to treat her as a radical, and to take real-life action against her First Amendment-protected statements.

Audiences of DHS’s deradicalization videos would take the role of “bystanders” that are given options on how to intervene in Ann’s political development. For example, audiences watch Ann’s activities from the perspective of her preacher, her longtime friend, and her hairdresser.

In one scenario, Ann utters the phrase “baby killer” at a public ribbon-cutting event at a local bakery. DHS gives you, the bystander, three choices: calling Ann’s husband, contacting Ann’s preacher, or stopping by Ann’s house:


…….DHS also built a stock profile for “Courtney,” an “old high school friend” of audience members who has become a “budding conspiracy theorist.” She, too, is associated by DHS with the imagery of “suburban Mom, laundry, minivan.” What gets her wrapped up in DHS’s informant dragnet is that after her divorce, she “has become fixated on conspiracy theories regarding government connections to child abuse and trafficking:”


In the case of Courtney, “spreading conspiracy theories” and even the perceived “level of anger” rising in her online posts is sufficient to trigger DHS involvement. DHS gives three choices to bystanders: monitor Courtney’s other posts and conversations, check in with her ex-husband, or message her to snoop on her private life:


DHS also built a stock profile for “Pete,” an “anti-government, anti-authority” father as an example of “radicalization suspects” that should be dealt with by citizen bystanders.

We are told Pete is an “abusive parent/stepdad” but no details are given as to what makes him abusive. He “seems like a quiet guy and mostly keeps to himself:”


Pete’s political activity that triggers DHS intervention is that a bystander has “seen him post on some radical sites with violent tendencies.” DHS does not say Pete himself made any calls to violence, and it is unclear how a static website itself can have “violent tendencies.”

Nonetheless, DHS walks bystanders through three options: contacting Pete’s wife, interrogating Pete about it at a softball game, or simply keeping “closer tabs” on Pete’s online activity:


Under the Biden Administration, DHS appears to be moving into the video propaganda space for policing political opinions in a new and disturbing way. For example, FFO previously reported how DHS created a cartoon that urged young people to report their own family members to Facebook for “disinformation” for social media posts that claimed “Covid is no worse than the flu.”

DHS produced an entire line of similar “disinformation”-policing video products.

The DHS now designates citizens who challenge the government spin on Covid and question election integrity as “domestic terrorists“.


Of course, the real domestic terrorists, Antifa and BLM, are excluded from the DHS threat assessments.

The Obama regime did the same thing.  During his regime, Janet Napolitano developed an Enemies List (AKA: Homeland Security Department document entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Environment Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”) which contained a section titled, “Disgruntled Military Veterans”.  She also added a DHS study that outlined “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States”, that did not include the muslim terrorist threat in the country.  It did, however, name the following people as threats:

– Americans who believe their “way of life” is under attack;

– People who consider themselves “anti-global” (presumably those who are wary of the loss of American sovereignty);

– Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”;

– Americans who are “reverent of individual liberty”;

In other words, people who are legitimately concerned about government corruption, abuse of power, and violation of civil liberties.

In contrast, Biden’s regime and his media tools ignore the Antifa and BLM violence they foster, encourage, and refuse to condemn.

The Dems have created a system of bullying and persecution of political opponents. If you think it’s just a theory, guess again. The FBI and DOJ are rounding up dissidents and engaging in political persecutions. Biden even has a ‘snitch line’ to turn in friends and relatives who object to government autocracy.

The real threat to this country are the Dems, their leftwing media tools, their rampaging Antifa/BLM mobs, and weaponized government agencies that want to transform America into a police state.



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