Protesters threatening to destroy statues and monuments will have info collected by DHS to stop ‘terror attacks’ – The Sun

THE Department of Homeland Security will collect information about protesters who threaten or destroy statues and monuments, according to a report.

Per The Washington Post, Homeland Security has given its employees authorization to gather the information about protesters, even if they’re not on federal property.

The new guidance was described as “job aid” for employees in connection with an executive order that President Donald Trump signed in June that targets demonstrators who threaten to take down Confederate statues.

As noted by the Post, Homeland Security has helped protest American symbols before — like the Statue of Liberty — from terrorists, but has not been used to protect landmarks from protests by American citizens.

The guidance comes as Homeland Security agents have been deployed to Portland, Oregon, which Trump claims is to protect federal buildings.

Trump said he plans to deploy federal agents to Chicago, and possibly other Democrat-run cities where violence has spiked, to help local law enforcement.

But local leaders have said the federal presence has only aggravated tensions rather than promote public safety.

Under Trump’s latest plan, which has yet to be publicly announced, about 150 Homeland Security Investigations agents would go to Chicago to help with a spike in crime.

The agents — who generally investigate human trafficking, drugs, and weapons smuggling — are expected to stay in Chicago at least two months, an official told The Associated Press.

During the nationwide protesters following the death of George Floyd in May, protesters have targeted statues of Confederate leaders or other figures they say were racist.

Demonstrators have removed the statues and have vandalized them with graffiti.

The guidance, which was obtained by the Post, allows federal agents to monitor social media posts and other public information to watch out for people who might “damage or destroy any public monument, memorial, or statue.”

Homeland Security employees were told they must have a substantial reason why someone could be a threat and not follow “‘hunches’ and intuitions, which are insufficient.”

Throughout his presidency, Trump has used Homeland Security to carry out his political objectives, including cracking down on illegal immigration and slowing legal immigration applications.

The 240,000-person agency manages border security as well as natural disasters and the Transportation Security Administration.

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