A non-profit organization that receives taxpayer funding and works closely with the Department of Homeland Security is under fire for promoting unjustified terror and fear among the public about terrorism, claiming that Americans should be suspicious even of their best friends and neighbors.

Known as The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (The CELL), the organization produces propaganda designed to hype the threat of terrorism and persuade citizens that they can join the terror-war, too. It includes, among other ventures, a full-scale museum exhibit entitled “Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: Understanding the Threat of Terrorism” that presents terror as one of the gravest dangers facing humanity today.

“If this sounds like an expensive, museum-size example of America’s paranoia, that’s because it is,” noteda piece from The Economist by Alexander Ewing. “Indeed, the exhibition includes a Rand Corporation expert who notes that the probability of an American being killed in a terror attack is about one in a million, compared to one-in-7,000 or -8,000 chance of being killed in a car accident.”

In recent years the group has been assailed by critics for controversial videos produced with taxpayer money. In late 2009, “The CELL” released a short DHS-funded film — “Recognizing the Eight Signs of Terrorism” (still shot pictured above) — that portrayed owning firearms, buying gold, paying in cash, and donating to obscure charities as suspicious behavior that should be reported.

“The Cell is dedicated to spreading disturbing state propaganda and fear,” noted a blogger at DailyPaul.com, citing some of the more absurd points in the organization’s terror video. “The film displays gold coins next to explosives, implying gold coins are used as tools of terrorism.”

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