(ConservativeSense.com) – According to new documents released on Monday by the House Judiciary Committee, the FBI was seeking to develop sources within churches and Catholic dioceses as part of their stated efforts to counter domestic terrorism.
The documents, which were obtained by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Rep. Mike Johnson last month, reveal that the FBI was planning to utilize churches, specifically targeting “mainline Catholic parishes,” as avenues “for tripwire and source development.” That is, to train informants in these locations to spy on Americans practicing their faith.
The FBI also expressed interest in using “existing sources” and/or initiating “Type 5 Assessments” to develop new informants within church organizations, as well as sensitizing congregations to “warning signs of radicalization” in order to serve as tripwires of “suspicious activity.”
In a letter written by Jordan to Christopher Wray, Director of the FBI, he said that “we now know that the FBI relied on at least one undercover agent to produce its analysis,” and that the organization “proposed that its agents engage in outreach to Catholic parishes to develop sources among the clergy and church leadership” in order to inform on Americans practicing their religion.
A subpoena was also issued by Jordan for the release of related documents that were previously requested by the committee but have not been provided by the FBI. He called the latest information “outrageous” and said it only “reinforces the Committee’s need for all FBI material” that they requested. The FBI confirmed they received the subpoena and said they intend on cooperating with the oversight requests by Congress.
In his letter to the FBI director, Jordan said Americans “attend church to worship and congregate” for spiritual and personal improvement and that they have a right to do so without worrying about being spied on by the FBI in their churches.
In February, FBI agent and whistleblower Kyle Seraphin also published a document showing the FBI viewed “radical traditionalist” Catholics as possible extremist threats.
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