The FBI’s national office on Feb. 9 repudiated a reported internal memo that warned about a connection between so-called “radical-traditionalist Catholics” and “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.”
The bureau told The Epoch Times that the internally distributed “field office product” about “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism does not meet the exacting standards of the FBI.”
“Upon learning of the document, FBI Headquarters quickly began taking action to remove the document from FBI systems and conduct a review of the basis for the document,” the FBI National Press Office stated. “The FBI is committed to sound analytic tradecraft and to investigating and preventing acts of violence and other crimes while upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans and will never conduct investigative activities or open an investigation based solely on First Amendment protected activity.”
The statement notes that “our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products” but states that “this particular field office product” was “disseminated only within the FBI.” That document “does not meet the exacting standards of the FBI,” it reads.
The statement came in response to a question about a report from a former FBI special agent, Kyle Seraphin, who published the internal FBI memo on Feb. 8 via the UncoverDC website. Seraphin, himself a whistleblower who was suspended by the bureau in June 2022, said that he obtained the document from an FBI whistleblower.
“The FBI’s Richmond Division would like to protect Virginians from the threat of ‘white supremacy,’ which it believes has found a home within Catholics who prefer the Latin Mass,” Seraphin wrote for UncoverDC. “An intelligence analyst within the Richmond Field Office of the FBI released in a new finished intelligence product dated January 23, 2023, on Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVE) and their interests in ‘Radical-Traditionalist Catholics’ or RTCs.”
His report included screenshots of the purported document, dated Jan. 23, which cites the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that identified several RTC “hate groups” within the United States.