The Federal Bureau of Investigation put Anonymous hacktivist Jeremy Hammond on a secret terrorist watchlist, according to confidential records obtained by the Daily Dot.
A leaked document originating from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) reveals that Hammond was considered a “possible terrorist organization member,” and indicates that he was placed on the multi-agency Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), alongside individuals suspected of ties to Al Qaeda, Somalia-based extremists al-Shabaab, and Colombia’s leftist FARC guerilla movement.
The records further reveal how the FBI treats cybercrimes and shines a rare light on the expanding definitions of terrorism used by U.S. law enforcement agencies.
The United States has no single definition for “terrorism.” The law, Title 18 of the U.S. Code (Section 2331), describes it as an act “dangerous to human life.” That definition, however, was not “directly applicable” to the approach of the TSC, according to a leaked document published last year by the Intercept. Instead, the TSC redefined terrorism by combining “elements from various federal definitions.” Unlike U.S. law, the TSC’s definition excludes a threat to human life as a prerequisite for terrorist activity.
According to the definition issued by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) in March 2013, in addition to threatening human life, an individual may be nominated to the TSDB watchlist for suspected “acts dangerous to … property, or infrastructure” that appear intended to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population,” or “influence the policy of a government.” Individuals seen as facilitating or supporting “terrorist activity,” violent or not, may also be added to the TSDB watchlist.
The Intercept previously reported that as of November 2013, as many as 700,000 people were on the TSDB watchlist.
The FBI did not respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment in time for publication.