Ongoing Investigation of Anti-War Activists

I’m not done with my posts on the IG Report on FBI’s past investigations into anti-war activists.

But I did want to note that these investigations are ongoing. This morning, FBI in Minnesota raided the homes of some anti-war activists as part of a material support for terrorism investigation. (h/t fatster)

The homes of several leaders of the Twin Cities antiwar movement were raided Friday by the FBI in what an agency spokesman described as an “investigation into activities concerning the material support of terrorism.”

Search warrants were executed on six addresses in Minneapolis and at two in Chicago, said FBI spokesman Steve Warfield.

Among the homes raided were the apartments of Jessica Sundin, who was a principal leader of the mass march of 10,000 on the opening day of the Republican National Convention two years ago, and Mick Kelly, who was prominent in that protest and among those who announced plans to march on the Democratic National Convention in Minneapolis, if the city is selected to host it in 2012.

Mind you, a material support investigation must be tied to an official terrorist organization, as opposed to simply calling anti-war activists terrorists as the Bush Administration did in its investigations of anti-war activists.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem like much has changed since Bush was criminalizing political speech.

  1. Mary says:

    If two of the houses raided were in Chitown, it seems odd that the only stories seem to be MN stories. You’d think Chicago press would have something, even a little thumbnail, about the FBI searches in Chicago. But if there is something, google isn’t sharing with me.

      • bmaz says:

        Hey NextStop. Question: what is the general attitude you perceive on the US Atty’s determination to retry Blago and what do you think? I fully supported the original prosecution, but am inclined to think the government should make a deal where Blago accepts the conviction on him now, does some minimal incarceration, maybe even home confinement or halfway, and the government doesn’t waste any more time or money on retrial. But I am not there, so am kind of curious.

  2. Jim White says:

    Punch those hippies! /FBI

    Obama and Holder have some serious shit on their hands now. Are they requesting or merely allowing this intimidation to occur?

  3. wayoutwest says:

    The FBI is not the only agency infiltrating peace activists. Before the repug convention in ’04 NYPD undercover terror agents infiltrated antiwar groups here in NM. These activities were reported but nothing was done to stop it from happening again, i guess it’s legal now after 911 or at least NOP.

    I’m sure that the NSA is monitoring people like emptywheel and his followers for terrorist support activities.

        • emptywheel says:

          No worries. It has been a long time since I’ve been pseudonymous for that mistake, bu I never have minded it. If I did, I’d start blogging under my own name, Marcy Wheeler.

          And btw, if you haven’t peeked at the IG Report, you might want to. One of the things it shows is how FBI got permission to treat FTAA as an even for which they could investigate in advance, using the 1999 WTO protest as an excuse. And then it appears that Miami (where FTAA was) was leading a lot of the surveillance of those preparing for the RNC convention. And w/JTTFs and Fusion centers, all law enforcement agencies are sharing info and helping each other surveil.

          • wayoutwest says:

            Thanks Marcy, BTW my name is Pete.

            The interesting or frightening thing about these raids is that they are classic counter-intellegence tactics. One of the reasons i left Detroit in ’70 was that you didn’t know who you could trust anymore. The White Panthers, SDS, and many other groups had been compromised.

            These raids may not lead to charges but they will have sown the seeds of distrust within these groups. This is probably more effective than the fear that results from the harassment which usually brings people together.

        • Larue says:

          N I’m still laffin . . . with ya now, not at ya.

          My bad, and welcome to Mz. Wheeler’s place and FDL too.

          Sorry for my snark . . . my bad.


        • dopeyo says:

          i thought you were trying to culture-jam the NSA / FBI. So when they show up at Emptywhell’s house, they don’t bother the ‘little Mrs.’ they just cuff Mr. Emptywheel and drive off.

          while she live-blogs her own arrest.

    • Larue says:

      I’m sure that the NSA is monitoring people like emptywheel and his followers for terrorist support activities.

      LMBO as I ROFLMAO.

      I’m sure Mz. Wheeler is laffin, too.

      I’m suddenly reminded of Tower Of Power’s stellar line:

      “What is hip, tell me tell me, I’d really like to know.”


  4. donbacon says:

    This gets to the comment I incorrectly posted on the previous thread, this time talking about support of terrorism rather than terrorists themselves.

    Mind you, a material support investigation must be tied to an official terrorist organization,

    Source please?
    This is important because so many activities might qualify as support of terrorism — the extent of them is bounded only by police imaginations. For example I have maintained an anti-war website for five years or so — am I next?

    • Larue says:

      Don, you cut to the heart of the matter immediately.

      This is just far beyond Nixon’s work back then.

      This is WAY past no knock.

      This is the man busting down doors any where any time, for a single word of dissent.

      Now I realize in the more urban parts of our nation the man’s been bustin down doors anytime they like without cause or such . . . and this version is a bit new for white folks . . . but yes, now they’re coming for us.

      Welcome to the new ’84. Again. Only more.

  5. cbl2 says:

    I shouldn’t admit to this, but when I clicked on Empty’s tab, I thought this was an old story

    what in bloody hell ?

  6. lakeeffectsnow says:

    Ted Dooley, an attorney, said he had reviewed the search warrant issued in the raid on Kelly’s apartment. “It’s a probe into the political beliefs of American citizens and to any organization anywhere that opposes the American imperial design,” he said.

    • Arbusto says:

      I’m not an attorney, but the FBI’s continuation of JE Hoover tactics, our favorite cross-dresser, sure looks like a form of prior restraint to keep DFH’s in their bedroom and off the street.

  7. lakeeffectsnow says:

    boy the edit function does not work at all ( at least for me )

    let’s try this again

    Ted Dooley, an attorney, said he had reviewed the search warrant issued in the raid on Kelly’s apartment. “It’s a probe into the political beliefs of American citizens and to any organization anywhere that opposes the American imperial design,” he said.

  8. donbacon says:

    On Friday morning, three houses in the Minneapolis area are believed to have been raided by SWAT Teams. While we have few details right now, the F.B.I. appears to be targeting people associated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

    Besides the raids in Minneapolis, houses in Michigan, North Carolina and Chicago were also targeted. . .The search warrant for 1823 Riverside, the residence of activist Mick Kelly, sought information “regarding ability to pay for his own travel” to Palestine and Colombia from 2000 to today. The warrant hyped potential documents indicating any contacts/facilitation with FARC, PFLP, and Hezbollah – what it called “FTOs” or “foreign terrorist organizations”.

    The wording of the warrant appears to indicate the government seeks to create divisions among social justice and international solidarity activists by hyping alleged connections to what they call “foreign terrorist organizations.”

    The warrant also sought information on “Kelly’s travel to and from and presence in MN, and other foreign countries [sic] to which Kelly has traveled as part of his work in FRSO [Freedom Road Socialist Organization”, as well as materials related to his finances and the finances of FRSO, and all computer and electronic devices. The federal warrant was signed by Judge Susan Nelson at 3:30pm yesterday, September 23.

    • solerso says:

      Thanks for that VERY good insight into possible motives for the raids. Its not as if they believe any of these people were actually “providing material support” to ANY illegal organization so why would the FBI stoop to showing up themselves? to lend credibility to their misinformation campaign, or to make sure any challenges are heard in a federal court where they can attempt to subvert the constitution by getting a ruling in thier favor, on record.

      • nomolos says:

        what it called “FTOs” or “foreign terrorist organizations”.

        I thought that meant Fuck The Opposition.

    • nomolos says:

      With no real “terrorist” threat they have to keep inventing new ones and it is a hell of a lot safer, politically, to go after us war hating lefties than it is to go after the real crazies with guns and tea caddies.

      Corporations love “wars” and hate those people that oppose them. Same old shit, same old gummint.

      • lakeeffectsnow says:

        With no real “terrorist” threat they have to keep inventing new ones

        gotta keep the usa War Machine in Death & Destruction mode.

        too much $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ at stake.

  9. RoyalOak says:

    It always amazes me to see history so clearly repeat itself, in such a short span of time. Welcome back to 1966!

  10. wundermaus says:

    Sure is a good thing I went into stealth mode a few months ago…

    Oh, Hold it, there’s someone at the door… strange, I wasn’t expecting anyone today to drop by…

    Hey, what’s this – a bag over my head, what a minute, you can’t do that, I’m an American Citizen! Wait! Wait…

    Delete this message, no need to let them know they are next. Everything is fine here… go shopping. :)

  11. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Fine get rid of us Obama lose the creative types who make America’s economy your free market types are great at creating jobs NOT!

  12. TalkingStick says:

    This is just part of what all governments do. In my vies the best practice is for these groups to be as transparent in their activities and especially money transactions, as possible.

  13. TomThumb says:

    What about the timing of this?

    One week after revelations that PA was spying on hydrofracking gas drilling opponents. One week before the 10.2.10 March in Washington, D.C. . Same week DCCC and President realize the Progressives have left the party.

    • Mason says:

      What about the timing of this?

      One week after revelations that PA was spying on hydrofracking gas drilling opponents. One week before the 10.2.10 March in Washington, D.C. . Same week DCCC and President realize the Progressives have left the party.

      I think there’s some validity to your observation. Protesters laughed at Obama yesterday in New York before he bored the UN with another one of his bullshit speeches. Instead of intimidating the left to shut-up and meekly agree to get out the vote and vote for democrats in November, the left is abandoning the party in droves, progressives aren’t contributing money to the cause, incumbent democrats running for office are totally freaked out, and the DUMP OBAMA movement looks like it might go viral. Oh, and Rahm, Peter, Christina, and now David are jumping ship. Iraq and Afghanistan are blowing up in Obama’s face. The antiwar movement is waking up. And everybody hates his health care POS.

      He really is a slimeball.

  14. donbacon says:

    “The whole aim of practical politics” is “to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    –H.L. Mencken

    Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB)
    about a million people
    “The TSC cannot reveal whether a particular person is in the TSDB.” Why is the watchlist kept secret? — “Not disclosing who is on the terrorist watchlist is one of the reasons it’s so effective in counterterrorism efforts.”

    master terrorist list
    (wouldn’t load)

    Foreign Terrorist Organizations List (FTOs)
    47 organizations

    Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL)
    59 organizations

    Executive Order 13224
    27 organizations & individuals

    FBI Most Wanted Terrorists
    29 individuals

  15. Bobster33 says:

    My advise to the terrorists is to start using confusing well known names, like George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and Don Rumsfeld. They could also use names from Congress or other agencies. I can imagine the chatter:

    There is a new threat in Texas as George, Dick and Don are gathering to plot their revenge on America. I wonder how long it would take the CIA, NSA and DoD to figure out which George is plotting what.

  16. donbacon says:

    I betcha if one looked at who is on these door-busting SWAT teams one would find a good percentage of ex-soldiers who did (and are doing) exactly the same operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s frightful. It truly is a world-wide war OF terror.

    Retina scans may be next.

  17. tejanarusa says:


    Wouldn’t you think that the recent revelation of FBI spying on harmless folks might have put the brakes on such things?

    Oh, wait…

  18. prostratedragon says:

    Nothing much original from Chicago yet, naturally.

    “Breaking” from Trib that reads like paste from the wires.

    Same paste at Sun-Times on their regular news page, complete with the enlightened commentary so many of us have grown to love.

    WLS, the local ABC-owned station, found out that the Chicago raids were in Jefferson Park and the (vast) Northwest side. The other of the “all two” items out of Chicago that were picked up by googlenews were from the other two network stations, NBC and CBS. The CBS report says that only one of two warrants for Chicago were actually served Friday, with the other one still outstanding.

  19. donbacon says:

    There are lots of drone aircraft on the southern border — they took over one small town airfield I know of just for that purpose. They don’t have Hellfire missiles on them — yet. Ya think?

  20. bayofarizona says:

    The only way this stops if all those teabagger militas get arrested on no charges. Of course the village would never stand for treating conservatives that way, and as a bully, Obama only picks on those who don’t fight back

  21. Sara says:

    I suspect I heard the sirens early this morning — the Riverside address is about a mile and a half from where I live, across the Mississippi, but for some reason police and fire sirens from that area seem to funnel over this way. They came in series, first that location, then on the freeway and as if it were coming from University of MN Police HQ. Thought it might be a fire actually, as U of M is direction of the second closest firehouse. — last weekend there was one of those terrible accidents here where heat gets turned on, and the apt house fills up with some sort of poison gasses.

    Few hours later — radio news. No Arrests, it was a search warrant plus a demand to appear before a Federal Grand Jury in about three weeks. Didn’t know such a Jury was sitting, but guess they are, and apparently were in on the request for Warrants.

    Riverside address is pretty much the heart of the Somali Community, but the groups mentioned on the news seem to have more to do with Colombia and Venezuela. Mention was made of FARC, and several what were claimed to be FARC support groups. But mention on MPR also made of a pro-Palestine group too, one I admit I have never heard of before. In otherwords, the bits and pieces add up at this juncture to tossed salad. One woman whose house was searched seemed much more upset that her I-Pod Music was taken, as opposed to anything else. What kind of music??? Don’t know.

    But a little background — That neighborhood is seriously dangerous. There are several Somali gangs operating there, I think it is now five or six murders over the last year or so, (one terrible gun down of a neighborhood grocery store), and over the past couple of years about 20 young men from Somali have returned there to fight with al Shazzbad, I think it is seven have died, at least one a suicide bomber. Federal Trials are now ongoing regarding the organizations, recruitment, etc., and Holland will be returning to MPLS in a week or so, one of the major international fundraisers, who is to stand trial on a variety of charges in a few months. Federal Judge in charge of trials is Jack Tunheim, a Paul Wellstone recommend to Clinton, and the guy who managed opening the Kennedy Papers on Assassinations during the 90’s. Some of the trials, and indeed there have been plea bargins too — involve Somalis on the “no fly” lists using Central and South American contacts and drug routes as a means for getting out of USA — drive to Calif, cross border, depend on drug gangs for forwarding to Africa. The Riverside Address is about a mile from the junction with I-35, which is direct route to Mexico from here. (But you get to Texas first.) Whether any of this has to do with flap-doodle, don’t know, but am a great believer in having a sense of demography, geography, and cultural detail.

    • greenbell says:

      Sara, I agree that there is actually a genuine terrorist problem in the Somali community but conflating that with something entirely different, peace activism, is exactly what the right-wing wants. Mick Kelly is not a Somali. Granted, it’s a relativelyy small community and people may cross paths but if they’re going to roll up every group of dissenters in the country because somewhere in an e-mail or blog post someone expresses a passing note of sympathy several points of separation away from a real terrorist group we’re nothing but a police state. You can cross paths with Somalis at Macy’s in Edina too.

      • Sara says:

        Greenbell, I am not trying to conflate, I am trying to lay out just a little detail as to the complexity one must consider before reaching any judgments.

        There are plenty of individuals and organizations around here one can fully describe as Peace Groups or personalities — probably represents about 30 -40% of the DFL Caucus goers one way or another, one set of Rhetoric versus another set. I do not find the FBI or Homeland Security all that interested in this mix. As I understand things, there are Peace Study Groups in virtually every large Church, and a good many others with no Church Connection. One could fill one’s days attending meetings, speeches and conferences if you wanted to on the topic. I encourage. I don’t do meetings any more because of health reasons, but since the 50’s I have done my due. What I don’t like to see is personalized and privileged leadership attributions without some clear evidence of the ideas as to how to achieve a particular peace attached to the designation of Peace Person or Organization.

        I am particularly moved by what I know of the suffering of lesser empowered women in the Somali Community, who have had their relatives and children encouraged to go off and fight tribal war — or who spend their days with great worry that their kids will get involved or hurt in the Somali Gangs hereabout. Seven are clearly dead out of a little more than twenty in Somalia, and others are murdered here. It has been very hard work to get support systems that yes, include local police and FBI who make a real effort to comprehend the complex culture, the social workers, lawyers, and court types who help. It is a suspicious community, in some cases rightly so. But it is also a community wanting some sense of security (Peace maybe) better than what they left behind, and one willing to work at it. So what really bothers me is the tendency by our so called Progressives, to reach judgments and conclusions without actually facing up to the complexity of the milue.

        When you look at any organization such as FBI or Local Cops — your starting point is that they represent their own institutions. Ultimately it is the DOJ that decides what FBI shall do, and among things they do not do is take chances they, their organizations, or political sponsors will be understood as overlooking known or assumed risks. Obama and Halder are not going to absorb anything they can avoid by strictly enforcing the laws on the books. Talk to some of the lesser empowered Somali Women — and that is exactly what they want. They want that clear, straightforward understanding that the language on the books is for real, and that the Cops and FBI hew to the letter. They have had quite enough of anarchy, and sometimes what they hear as so called “Peace Movement” is black blok advocacy of anarchy.

        And yes, we all know Cops and FBI can be corrupt and corrupted. Didn’t spend more than a decade in the Civil Rights Movement in the 60’s and not learn that lesson well. Spent years in meetings advocating for things like police review boards to deal with racist street cops, and personality assessments of recruits and training and re-training. Did it help? Not sure. It was important there was reporting and significant push back. When the rumors were thick and flying that cops stopped elevators between floors at the jail and beat the shit out of those they arrested in padded elevators when racial disturbances led to mass arrests — I am the one who put the Seminarians from the Catholic and Lutheran schools on the elevators to ride up and down all night and just watch. Best I could do. Rumors kill, on the streets and in the jails — so you try to put witnesses in place.

  22. nextstopchicago says:


    A poll, maybe in the Trib, showed a majority supporting a new trial, with a substantial minority against it. My sense, though, is that pro 2nd-shot sentiment is much stronger, while let-it-go sentiment is mostly Blagojevich fatigue, people who just don’t want to hear about him any more.

    For myself, I’m not one who sees it as a lot of money. Daley’s Hired Truck fiasco was costing the city on the order of $40 million/year, and that’s just one small facet of the corruption here, and just the direct costs, nemmind the cost of a cynical government workforce that says “why should I work hard when …” A few million to fight corruption – heck, if it only makes them more circumspect, it’s a bargain.

  23. nextstopchicago says:

    On the other hand, as I re-read your words, I consider that there is a cost in time and money that could be spent on prosecutions of other corrupt folks … if the US Atty decided to offer Blagojevich a deal that involved admitting guilt and some prison time however short, I couldn’t fault them. Home confinement would just be an invitation to that guy to grandstand to the cameras out his front window every morning.