Domestic terrorism – FBI investigating 850 cases

May 9, 2019 | Brainwave Science

Domestic terrorism - FBI investigating 850 cases


The FBI is investigating about 850 cases of domestic terrorism and considers it a serious and persistent threat, the FBI’s Michael McGarrity told the House Committee on Homeland Security on Wednesday.

The federal government, law enforcement, and even civil rights groups like the ACLU all consistently say that free speech rights under the First Amendment would make it problematic to define U.S. groups as terrorist organizations.

In an exchange with Democratic Congresswoman Yvette Clarke of New York, McGarrity noted that law enforcement has expanded powers when dealing with suspects linked to international terrorist groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

White supremacist organizations are not designated as terrorist organizations. A white supremacist organization is an ideology, but they’re not designated as a terrorist organization. The U.S. has designated about 60 groups as terrorist organizations. Most are Islamist, all are based abroad.

High-profile attacks in recent years, including mass shootings at synagogues and churches, has led to increased discussion about whether Congress should establish a domestic terrorism law. Last year, extremists carried out six lethal attacks that killed 17 people in this country. The year before, there were five lethal attacks that killed eight people.

Social media companies are also facing increased scrutiny for their role in providing a platform to terrorism. The officials described the internet as an accelerant that speeds up radicalization. Lone wolves have online access on how to plot and carry out attacks while remaining invisible to law enforcement.

On the far right, small numbers of like-minded extremists now find it much easier to link up. And among Islamists, groups like ISIS may have lost the physical territory they once controlled, but their message still lives online.


The U.S. doesn’t have an explicit law allowing the federal government to criminally charge extremists with domestic terrorism. The lacuna has made it difficult to placate charges against domestic terrorists. Moreover, the ongoing debate in Congress does not indicate that relevant laws will be passed in a definite amount of time. Also, because this must deal with free speech rights under the First Amendment, a speedy change is not anticipated.

The hands of agencies are tied due to the legislative limbo. This gives domestic extremists a chance to slip through the hands of the agencies. The Patriot Act does define domestic terrorism, which gives law enforcement some additional authority to investigate, but this does not include an actual criminal charge of domestic terrorism.

Interestingly, if it can be shown that a supremacist and extremist organization has links to a foreign terrorist organization, the Law Enforcement agencies have more teeth. Linking a suspect to a specific organization, whether domestic or international is not straightforward given that conventional methods of gathering intelligence and interrogation are not quick and holistic enough.

A large number of FBI investigations points to both the extent of the challenge, and to the extensive resources, the bureau has devoted to the issue. The challenge is to hold parallel investigations into all these cases with limited resources.

Another gap which needs to be filled up is the lack of policing of the internet and the dark web. This is almost impossible as the internet is a highly unregulated and decentralized medium of communication. The ISIS now does not exist in the middle east but on the internet, rampantly recruiting members and coordinating its worldwide operations.

Forensic tools which address cyber-crime often involve screening and black-hat hackers. There needs to be a forensic tool can gather information from the very origin of the crime-the human brain. Every crime is hatched in the brain of a human being. A method to extract relevant intelligence directly from the brain will be revolutionary. Moreover, if such a tool comes into being, then the scale or category of the crime is immaterial.


Brainwave Science has developed and introduced such technology. The name of this pioneering and cost-effective technology is iCognative. Brainwave Science is a Massachusetts based company which has introduced a modern technology which has completely revamped investigation and intelligence gathering. It is non-invasive and does not need the test subject to be tortured or to be made to suffer. Yet, it does not compromise in any way on the amount of intelligence it can gather. iCognative can take on straightforward and complex cases alike. It can help solve crimes related to human and drug trafficking, cybercrime, law-enforcementnational-security, border-security, immigration, and counter-terrorism.

iCognative is a test which finds out if certain information is known to the person being tested or not. It manages this with utmost accuracy and confidence of statistics. The information is crime-specific and detects if the person could be involved. On the other hand, it could also be the knowledge which a radicalized could have. In other words, if a person has been radicalized, the test can also detect traces of radicalization, exposure to propaganda, participation in forums and conversations. The brain reacts in a measurable way when exposed to specific information which it is aware of. iCognative uses a specialized headset which is worn by the person under test. Pictures, images, words or phrases related to a specific crime or related to the ideology being screened are shown to the test subject in succession. The headset is active and is scanning for the brain’s reactions in the form of tiny positive voltages.

There are multiple suspects of domestic terrorism in 850 cases. The stimuli which can be used in their iCognative test can be case specific details of international  organizations which they are thought of as linked to, including but not limited to their insignia, propaganda material, members, recent crimes, pictures of similar extremists  based on location, ideology or methodology; all sorts of cyber communication and foot-prints, email, phone-records.

iCognative analyses and comes up with the result as soon as the 45-minute test ends. The result is either ‘information present’ or ‘information absent’. It signifies that the test subject’s brain does or does not contain the information being shown and then the authorities can proceed accordingly. iCognative is highly applicable to 85-90% of all civil and criminal cases. Meanwhile, DNA and fingerprints, are applicable in only 1-2% of all cases.

iCognative has all the characteristics which an investigation and interrogation tool must have. It is accurate (99+%), reliable, reports no false positives or false negatives, has no known countermeasures, is easy to deploy, easy to learn, highly customizable, highly portable, non-invasive, does not include sedation or administering of ‘truth serum’, totally objective, cost-effective and instant in its results.

The US lawmakers will appreciate the accuracy and efficiency which iCognative brings to the table. It is a holistic tool for them. With such widespread application and undoubtedly results, iCognative is a must-have intelligence gathering and interrogation technology.

Main Source: NPR

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