FBI sought to develop sources in Catholic churches to combat domestic terrorism, docs show

Recently, the FBI sought to develop sources inside Catholic dioceses and Christian churches as part of an effort to combat domestic terrorism, according to internal documents released by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday.

Efforts to target Catholic parishes as part of its efforts are also aimed specifically at the mainline agency for federal law enforcement. The internal documents obtained last month by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, showed that members of the Subcommittee on Weaponization are also planning to use churches as new sources and tripwires for development.

“Utilizing current sources and/or initiating Type 5 Assessments to cultivate fresh sources with the placement and access, the FBI has shown interest, as stated by Jordan. Additionally, they aim to seek their aid in acting as tripwires for detecting suspicious activity, with the objective of raising awareness among religious congregations about the indicators of radicalization. Another instance where the agency expressed a wish to do so was also mentioned.”

Alleged FBI document implies that the agency might be focusing on Catholics who participate in the Latin Mass.

On Monday, FBI Director Christopher Wray wrote a letter to Jordan, expressing that the FBI proposed engaging agents in outreach to Catholic parishes to develop sources among church leadership and clergy in order to inform practicing Americans about their faith. The FBI relied on at least one undercover agent to produce analysis and information, and now we know that the FBI’s analysis and information were limited based on the information produced by the FBI to the Committee.

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The FBI has not provided, as previously requested by the committee, a subpoena for a set of related documents that Jordan also released.

Nicole Parker, a previous operative of the FBI, alleges that the agency turned into a ‘politically weaponized’ entity and this impact filtered down from the main office.

Wray wrote to Jordan, “The report reinforces the need for the Committee to request all responsive material from the FBI, and this information is both outrageous and only.” The produced documents show how the FBI sought to enlist potential sources as monitors of Catholic worship houses and “to monitor their parishioners.”

Americans must have the freedom to exercise their fundamental First Amendment rights to congregate and worship in their houses of worship without worrying that the FBI may have other informants or sources known as “tripwires,” for the betterment of their personal and spiritual well-being.

On Feb. 16, documents pertaining to Johnson and Jordan were initially requested, just days after Kyle Seraphin, a former FBI agent and whistleblower, released an internal document from the FBI’s Richmond Field Office that seemed to delineate a strategy for “addressing the risk posed by Radical-Traditionalist Catholics.”

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The leaked paper sparked widespread criticism from Republican legislators who claimed that the FBI’s actions might infringe upon the Constitution.

However, the original letter from Johnson and Jordan went unanswered, prompting a follow-up request on March 3rd. Later, the FBI produced an 18-page document announced on Monday.

The FBI, in a statement to Fox News Digital, stated that it is actively working to respond to congressional requests, including providing voluntary production of documents. The FBI fully recognizes the importance of congressional oversight and is committed to cooperating with statutory and constitutional responsibilities, as well as responding to the received subpoena from Congress.

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Upon learning of the FBI’s focus on Catholics, Wray expressed his shock and disbelief. The bureau also directed Fox News Digital to Wray’s recent statements given during his testimony before Congress.

Wray stated, “It does not adhere to FBI standards. We promptly took actions to retract it and eliminate it from FBI systems.” He continued, “We do not initiate investigations based on religious affiliation or practices. To prevent a recurrence of such incidents, we will thoroughly investigate and determine the cause. Additionally, our inspection division has been instructed to investigate this matter.”

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