WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A top FBI official in Washington is refuting claims that the agency has given permission to InfraGard members to shoot to kill in the event of martial law.
Shawn Henry, FBI Cyber Division deputy assistant director, says a recent article published in "The Progressive" magazine claiming that the FBI's InfraGard program members have been deputized and given the authority to shoot to kill is false, the FBI reported.
"In short, the article's claims are patently false," Henry said in a statement. "For the record, the FBI has not deputized InfraGard, its members, businesses, or anything else in the program. The title (of the article), however catchy, is a complete fabrication. Moreover, InfraGard members have no extraordinary powers and have no greater right to shoot to kill than other civilians."
According to the FBI, the InfraGard association of businesses, academic institutions and law enforcement agencies among others is an information-sharing network to prevent hostile acts against the United States.
"The FBI strongly supports the InfraGard program and recognizes that the protection of our critical infrastructure -- most of which is owned and operated by the private sector -- requires that we develop trusted relationships with and amongst industry."