ADL Commends Dekalb Authorities for Arrests of Alleged Sovereign Citizen Cell

Says Arrests Show Anti-Government Activists are Hiding in Plain Sight

August 19, 2010, Atlanta, GA…The Anti-Defamation League – which tracks the activities of extremist and terrorist organizations in partnership with law enforcement agencies – commended DeKalb County Police for tracking down and arresting a cell of alleged anti-government extremists known as sovereign citizens operating in metro Atlanta.

"The arrests raise the concern that members of the sovereign citizens movement are often hiding in plain sight in our communities," said Bill Nigut, ADL Southeast Regional Director. "The suspects in this case were apparently not engaged in violent activities. But in other instances, members alleged to be associated with the movement have exhibited extreme violence against government authorities. That's the reason ADL monitors their activities closely."

ADL recently released an updated version of its comprehensive report on sovereign citizen activities - The Lawless Ones: The Resurgence of the Sovereign Citizen Movement.

The six suspects, police say, were arrested for using false documents to take possession of some 19 metro area homes that had fallen into foreclosure. Authorities say they are affiliated with a loose-knit national anti-government movement known as "sovereign citizens."

The FBI has placed the sovereign citizen movement on its domestic terrorism list, and says they often file indiscriminate lawsuits and liens to disrupt the economy and the activities of government and who sometimes engage in violence against police and other government authorities.

Earlier this year, two Arkansas police officers were shot and killed by two men who police say were active in the sovereign citizen movement.

"We commend DeKalb Police for moving quickly to arrest these suspects," Nigut said. "We will continue to work with law enforcement to monitor the activities of anti-government groups and other domestic terrorist organizations."

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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Steven Salerno