Michael Arntfield, formerly of the London Police Service, now a criminology professor at Western University, has portrayed Justin Bourque as an “anti-authoritarian” domestic terrorist who follows “a broader forensic spectrum that includes the anti-government Freeman movement, which has long been seen as a modern frontier in violent crime, in which police officers are the obvious victims,”according to the National Post.
Bourgue allegedly shot and killed three Royal Mounted Police officers in New Brunswick, Canada on Wednesday. The suspect was arrested Friday after a massive manhunt. The city of Moncton in Westmorland County in southeastern New Brunswick was put under a police lockdown after the suspect was observed in a neighborhood carrying weapons.
According to the National Post and Arntfield, Bourque was engaged in “an attack against the state for ideological purpose.” Arntfield said the ambush of police “seems paradoxical” and is “domestic terrorism” distinguishing it from other violent crime.
The Freeman movement is diverse and not anchored to one specific ideology. Generally speaking, it consists of anti-government sentiment and the belief the court and legal system under admiralty law is designed to enslave people and natural law overrides the legal constructs of the state.
The FBI has conflated the Freemen movement with Sovereign Citizens. The federal government “considers sovereign-citizen extremists as comprising a domestic terrorist movement, which, scattered across the United States, has existed for decades, with well-known members, such as Terry Nichols, who helped plan the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, bombing,” according to an FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin released in September, 2011.
“They may refer to themselves as ‘constitutionalists’ or ‘freemen,’ which is not necessarily a connection to a specific group, but, rather, an indication that they are free from government control. They follow their own set of laws. While the philosophies and conspiracy theories can vary from person to person, their core beliefs are the same: The government operates outside of its jurisdiction. Because of this belief, they do not recognize federal, state, or local laws, policies, or regulations.”