Brotherhood of Klans

Emma Best filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking # 1363699-000
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Records relating to or mentioning the Brotherhood of Klans (BoK), which has long been one of the largest and most widespread Ku Klux Klan organizations in the United States. It’s also the only KKK faction to establish chapters outside the U.S., with a sizable presence in Canada.

Where most present-day Klan groups splash pictures and news of their activities on their websites and online forums, the Brotherhood of Klans is exceptionally secretive, in the tradition of Klan groups of yesteryear, offering scant details of its actions online and conducting serious background checks of prospective members. In other ways, the BOK is quite modern. Its members often eschew white robes and hoods for paramilitary garb, and its leadership networks extensively with non-Klan white supremacists, most notably racist skinheads and outlaw bikers, as well as with other Klan outfits, especially those based in the Deep South.

The Brotherhood of Klans was founded in 1996 by Dale Fox, an old-school Southern Klansman who vowed to bring the Klan back to its original birthplace in Pulaski, Tenn. The closest Fox got to that goal was establishing a BOK chapter in Finger, Tenn., more than 100 miles west of Pulaski.

Even so, under Fox’s leadership, the Brotherhood of Klans rapidly became the biggest Ku Klux Klan organization in the United States. Fox’s power appeared to expand in 2002 when rival Klan leader Ron Edwards, who was then under intense law enforcement scrutiny, stepped down as imperial wizard, or national leader, of the Imperial Klans of America and appointed Fox to replace him. The following year, though, Edwards reclaimed his position atop the IKA. But when Fox left, he took a handful of IKA chapters with him.

Fox died of a heart attack in November 2006, while chopping down a tree on a fellow Klansman’s property. He was succeeded by Jeremy Parker, a former skinhead and former webmaster for the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations.

In 2007, Parker oversaw the Brotherhood of Klan’s expansion into Canada, establishing chapters in Regina, Saskatchewan, and Calgary, Alberta, which claim a combined membership of 250. Both Canadian chapters have participated in joint rallies and street demonstrations with the Aryan Guard, a violent neo-Nazi group based in Calgary.

Please conduct a search of the Central Records System, including but not limited to the Electronic Surveillance (ELSUR) Indices, the Microphone Surveillance (MISUR) Indices, the Physical Surveillance (FISUR) Indices, and the Technical Surveillance (TESUR) Indices, for both main-file records and cross-reference records of both HQ and all field offices for all relevant names, agencies, organizations, companies and events including but not limited to those cited in the previous paragraphs and/or links as well as a cross-reference with the Southern Poverty Law Center to include any information provided by the SPLC. My request includes but is not limited to 137, 157, 176, 177, 183, 184, 188, and 214 files. If previously released records are available, then I request a rolling release consisting of those records while additional records are located and processed for release.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross-section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category. As such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore request that fees be waived.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Michael Best

From: FOIPARequest

Good morning,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at http://www.fbi.gov/ or http://www.fbi.gov/foia/. If you require additional assistance please contact the Public Information Officer.

Thank you,

Holly Early
Government Information Specialist
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4854
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
E-mail: foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov>
Questions E-mail: foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov>

Do you have further questions about the FOI/PA process? Visit us at http://www.fbi.gov/foia

Please check the status of your request online at https://vault.fbi.gov/fdps-1/@@search-fdps. Status updates are performed on a weekly basis.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Michael Best

I am appealing the decision to not process my request for a fee waiver.

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

01/27/2017 05:20 PM FOIA Request: DOJ-AP-2017-001932

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

DOJ-AP-2017-001932 has been processed with the following final disposition: Completely reversed/remanded.

  • Best, Michael, AP-2017-001932, FBI - remand consider fee waiver

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

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