Latest in a series of posts responding to the Jacob Blake shooting
“Black Lives Matter or BLM is a criminal group, a domestic terrorist organization.”
Sympathizers of Black Lives Matter have warned the movement to do more to discourage violence at its protests. But Black Lives Matter does not fit the federal definition of a terrorist organization, nor does it appear as a terrorist group in an extensive database that tracks terrorism attacks globally.
“Black Lives Matter is not a terrorist organization nor a terrorist movement, and no responsible source would describe it as such,” David Sterman, an international security senior policy analyst at the New America think tank, told PolitiFact.
Black Lives Matter, a domestic group, has not been designated as a terrorist organization on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.
When reviewing potential targets for designation, the department “looks not only at the actual terrorist attacks that a group has carried out, but also at whether the group has engaged in planning and preparations for possible future acts of terrorism or retains the capability and intent to carry out such acts.”
“None of those criteria are descriptive of Black Lives Matter,” Sterman said.
National security experts have told PolitiFact there is no legal process for designating domestic groups as terrorist organizations.
Black Lives Matter is mentioned in four incidents in the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database, which includes 200,000 terrorist attacks dating back to 1970, but the group is not listed as a perpetrator group in any incidents in the database.
The fact-checking organization Snopes reported in July on a claim that a “convicted terrorist” has served as a leader of an organization that provides fundraising and fiscal sponsorship for the Black Lives Matter Global Movement. . . . “That’s not to suggest that no one associated with BLM — or any particular movement — never engages in some criminal behavior,” Joshua Geltzer, a former senior director for counterterrorism and former deputy legal advisor, both at the National Security Council, told PolitiFact. “But the relevant question is whether the organization itself engages in the type of activity laid out by statute. And, on that, there’s been no evidence provided to indicate as much.”
“Not only are Black Lives Matter activists not terrorists, but fundamentally what we are trying to do is point out the failings in the basic premise of the founding of this country, that there would be liberty and justice for all. We are pulling back the curtains on really despicable deeds.”
Black Lives Matter advocates against state-sanctioned violence against Black people. “We embody and practice justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another,” it says in its online statement of beliefs.
A widely shared Facebook post claimed: “Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization.”
We didn’t find any evidence of this. Black Lives Matter advocates against police-sanctioned violence against Black people. It does not fit the federal definition of a terrorist organization, nor does it appear as a terrorist group in an extensive database of terrorist attacks.
We rate the statement False.