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The Posse Comitatus

This article is about the terrorist organization. For the sheriff's power to summon men for law enforcement at common law, see posse comitatus. For the United States law forbidding the use of military forces for law enforcement, see Posse Comitatus Act.

The Posse Comitatus is a loosely-organized survivalist militia group that opposes the United States federal government and believes in vigilantism. They are considered racist as well, since the racial beliefs of Christian Identity are a part of the group's ideology. The name of the group translates from Latin to mean "power of the county," and the Posse believes that all governmental power is rooted at the county, not Federal, level.

Because they believe that the U. S. Federal government is illegitimate and in the hands of "ZOG", a Jewish conspiracy, members of the Posse Comitatus frequently refuse to pay taxes, to obtain driver's licenses, or otherwise to comply with regulatory authorities. They deny the validity of United States fiat_money as not backed by gold, which they claim the Constitution requires. They have odd legal documents drawn up and attempt to record them, declaring independence from the United States, or claiming to file "common law" liens against perceived enemies like Internal Revenue Service employees or judges.

In 1983, Posse member (and accused parole violator) Gordon Kahl killed two Federal marshals (who had come to arrest him) in North Dakota and became a fugitive. Kahl later was killed by Arkansas law enforcement officials in a shootout in which a local sheriff was also killed.

Other members of the group have also been convicted of crimes ranging from tax evasion and counterfeiting to threatening the lives of IRS agents and judges.