A scary story over at the Week this morning details a scam that sovereign citizen groups were running out of Austin, Texas in the summer of 2013, that recruited unsuspecting young people to do the dirty work for the home-grown terror group.
The young people, who were named as “students” but their ages were not identified, were recruited to go door to door, interviewing residents about their jobs as part of a “pubic speaking” project and promised the allure of games and prizes if they were top performers. The problem, however, was that the organization that recruited them didn’t exist — and the addresses, names and other vital information was likely passed on to a domestic terror group that identifies itself as a”sovereign citizen” group. The students believed, however, that the cause was legitimate at the time, and thought that they were competing for substantial rewards — including scholarships for college and cash prizes they could use for whatever purposes they chose.
As the Week explains, the students were rewarded “points” based on the jobs of the targets:
The canvassers were then awarded points based on the job of the person they talked to. Different jobs were worth different points. The kids carried yellow note cards that referenced the 15 jobs worth points and their value. The list included professions such as nurse, doctor, and firefighter.
Police officers were worth 2,000 points, the highest value.
Students that were able to hunt down the addresses of police officers and firefighters were promised more money.
The students were bused around Austin, Texas and possibly other locations by the unknown sovereign citizen group. If stopped by police or questioned, the students had a handy paper card to show officials “stating the individuals who were in possession of the card were allowed to be doing what they were doing per constitutional law and they were not required to show any identification or be restricted from their duties by state or local officials. The individuals were instructed by the organization to show it to anyone who questioned what they were doing. The card did not have any business, church, nor contact information. The individuals did not carry a state issued identification.”
Sovereign citizen groups, who believe that US courts and law enforcement officers don’t have any jurisdiction over their persons or property, have been cropping up at an alarming rate across the US. Conservative news organizations have recently been caught whining that the threat of home-grown terror doesn’t merit the same alarm as ISIS terror threats or other extremist Muslim groups overseas. But it’s certainly hard to shrug off a terror threat that has the enemy sending students working as operatives directly to the doors of the law enforcement community.