FBI Launching Mass Raids of Antiwar Activists’ Homes

September 24, 2010     Posted By Jason Ditz @ 9:34 am 

The FBI is confirming that this morning they began a number of “raids” against the homes of antiwar activists, claiming that they areseeking evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism.”

 

So far there do not appear to have been any arrests related to the raids nor, according to FBI spokesman Steve Warfield, are there any expected. He also insisted that there was “no imminent threat” related to the antiwar organization targeted.

 

The warrant against antiwar activist Mick Kelly’s home cited efforts to look into his ability to “pay for his own travel” to Palestine and Colombia and appeared to have been little more than a fishing expedition looking for possible links to “foreign terrorist organizations including but not limited to FARC, PFLP, and Hezbollah.” Kelly insists that the raids were about harassing antiwar organizers.

 

Officials said they were related to a Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation. The JTTF in Minneapolis has a long history of heavy-handed investigations against protest groups, including an attempt in 2008 to infiltrate a vegan potluck.

 

Most of the raids were conducted in Minneapolis and were related to antiwar leaders in that city. Other raids were also reported in Chicago, Michigan, and North Carolina. Many of the homes targeted in Minneapolis were related to the “Freedom Road Socialist Organization” (FRSO) but this does not appear to have been the only group targeted.

 

According to Reuters, Chicago antiwar activist (and longtime gay rights activist) Andy Thayer was also targeted, which he attributed to solidarity work, for speaking out on the issues of the day.”

 

The FRSO in question (one of two groups which split  in 1999 and both use the name) describes itself as a Marxist-Leninist group and is related to Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

 

Source: ANTIWAR.COM

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/09/24/fbi-launching-mass-raids-of-antiwar-activists-homes

 

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F.B.I. Searches Antiwar Activists’ Homes

F.B.I. agents executed search warrants Friday in Minneapolis and Chicago in connection to an investigation of support of terror organizations.

The searches in Minneapolis took place early in the morning at the homes of people who have helped organize demonstrations against the war in Iraq and protests held two years ago during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

“It is rather patently political,” said Ted Dooley, a lawyer who represents Mick Kelly, a food service worker at the University of Minnesota and one of those whose homes was searched. “My client denies any wrongdoing.”

Steve Warfield, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Minneapolis, said the agents executed six warrants in Minneapolis and two in Chicago.

“They were seeking evidence related to an ongoing Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation,” Mr. Warfield said. “They are looking at activities connected to the material support of terrorism.”

He said no one in Minneapolis had been arrested while the warrants were executed. He added that agents in Michigan and North Carolina had also questioned people in connection with the investigation.

Mr. Dooley said the F.B.I. broke down Mr. Kelly’s door around 7 a.m. and gave a search warrant to his companion. The warrant said agents were gathering evidence related to people “providing, attempting and conspiring to provide material support” to terrorist organizations, and listed Hezbollah, the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

The warrant also authorized the agents to look for information connected to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and to unnamed “co-conspirators” and allowed them to seize items including electronics, photographs, address books and letters.

Mr. Kelly is known in Minnesota as a prominent organizer of the Anti-War Committee, a group that has protested United States military aid to Colombia and called for the removal of American soldiers from Afghanistan.

During the Republican gathering in 2008 he was a primary organizer of a march that drew thousands of participants.

Mr. Kelly was also served with a summons to appear before a grand jury on Oct. 19 in Chicago. The order directed him to bring along pictures or videos related to any trip to Colombia, Jordan, Syria, the Palestinian territories or Israel, as well as correspondence with anyone in those places.

Jess Sundin, another member of the Anti-War Committee whose home was searched, said a warrant also was executed at the group’s office. She said she had not done anything to help terror groups.

“I’ve protested the government’s policies and spoken out and tried to educate people in my community,” Ms. Sundin said. “That is the extent of what I’ve done.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/us/politics/25search.html?emc=eta1