FBI, Justice Department clash on calling Charleston murders ‘terrorism’

If what’s past is prologue, the FBI could find itself being labeled “racist” over a decision the agency made regarding the massacre at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

While many may think otherwise, FBI Director James Comey said Friday the murder of nine African-Americans will be investigated as a hate crime, not an act of terrorism, according to CNN.

“Terrorism is an act of violence done, or threatens to in order to try to influence a public body or citizenry, so it’s more of a political act and again based on what I know so far I don’t see it as a political act,” the director said at a news conference in Baltimore.

So much for the right-wing angle liberals have already assigned to the incident.

Comey’s remark also contradicted a statement from the Justice Department made the same day.

Spokeswoman Emily Pierce said “this heartbreaking episode was undoubtedly designed to strike fear and terror into this community and the department is looking at this crime from all angles, including as a hate crime and as an act of domestic terrorism.”

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Those looking to take advantage of the shooting to further a political agenda will not be happy with Comey’s take, but it remains to be seen if they’ll push back against the Obama administration.

And they may have an argument.

The FBI defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives,” CNN reported.

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Tom Tillison

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