FBI accidentally left behind secret documents in peace-activist raids

Categories: Protest News

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Mick Kelly has some documents that belong to the FBI
When the FBI launched an early morning raid on the home of local peace activist Mick Kelly last September, it was supposed to be a precision operation.

Backed by Minneapolis police officers, more than a dozen FBI agents in full SWAT gear, burst into Kelly's one-bedroom West Bank apartment. Provisions had been made for every eventuality -- a black Suburban idled in the ally, monitoring the back exit. Hostage negotiators were on hand if the situation turned ugly.

But the agents made one mistake: When they left Kelly's apartment, they accidentally left behind some of their secret documents.

And today, Kelly held a press conference to release the FBI's secret documents to the media.

Those documents include the operational plans for the raid, surveillance photos showing the apartment building, and 57 interrogation questions for Kelly and the eight other Twin Cities peace activists whose homes were being raided at the same time.

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Taken together, the documents offer the first glimpse into a highly secretive government investigation into the activists, which has resulted in 23 subpoenas to a secret federal grand jury.

The activists claim the investigation, which concerns charges of "material support of terrorism," is an unjust and intrusive effort by the FBI to intimidate and stifle political dissent.

Neither the FBI nor the office of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who is conducting the grand jury, will comment on the investigation.

FBI spokesman Steve Warfield confirmed the authenticity of the documents, except for the list of questions.

"We don't know about those," Warfield said. "There were a lot of people involved in the raids."

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"Karen Sullivan"
Apparently central to the investigation is the work of a secret undercover agent, known to the activists as Karen Sullivan. She befriended the activists and infiltrated their organizations over more than two years then vanished shortly before the raids.

According to the Operation Order, the raids and subsequent grand jury investigation were based on accusations that two of the local activists, Meredith Aby and Jess Sundin, were involved in support of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which is considered a terrorist group.

Sundin says that allegation is ridiculous. Although she traveled to Colombia 11 years ago, she says has nothing to do with FARC.

Equally disturbing, Sundin said, is that the FBI's list of interrogation subjects includes questions about Liliana Obando, a Colombian trade-unionist who visited Minnesota as a guest of the activists and spoke about human rights abuses committed by the U.S.-backed Colombian government.

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Bruce Nestor
"It is not a crime to travel to Colombia or to criticize U.S. foreign policy," said Bruce Nestor, a lawyer representing the subpoenaed activists.

Nestor added that if the relaxed laws that allow FBI investigation into political dissidents had been in force in the 1980s, anti-apartheid activists -- including President Obama -- would have been subject to the same armed raids, seized passports, and grand jury investigations.

Mick Kelly said his partner discovered the misplaced FBI documents about two weeks ago.

"She was going through some files and she said 'I think the FBI left something behind,'" Kelly said.

Also included among the files were documents marked "Law-Enforcement Only" that Kelly's attorney has advised him not to release.

Here's a copy of the Operation Order:



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6 comments
Matunos
Matunos

 When all you have is a hammer, everything in the world looks like a nail; and when all you have is a SWAT team, everything in the world looks like a terrorist cell.

think
think

Not every search warrant yields a criminal. If you take a moment to read before jumping to conclusions; You'll see they raided 16 targets in 6 different cities due to their suspicious interactions with two other people who supported terrorism. No news on the other 15 people mentioned in the paperwork, perhaps some or all of them were guilty.

mikeossur
mikeossur

FBI = Fumbling Bureaucratic Imbeciles.  I tried to buy a antique rifle 10 years ago and was denied because I matched someone on a computer list of felons, even though I have never been in trouble my whole life - if you do not include parking tickets. Lol. 

Katie Bond
Katie Bond

Amazing!  Our tax dollars at work (waste) to investigate American citizens who have every right (Constitution) to be against anything (war, abuses) our government does or the government supports.   

peace is for pussies
peace is for pussies

Golly, those "peace" activists must be awfully dangerous...  Thank goodness we live in the "land of the free" and "home of the brave."  Now let's all line up - it's time for the two-minute hate... 

Matunos
Matunos

Indeed. If they just round up enough people with incidental contacts (I'm willing to compromise and limit it to 6-degrees), I'm sure you'll find a couple of bad apples. To hell with the other people whose lives are affected. 

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