25 September 2010

FBI Raids Suspected Terrorist Supporters in Chicago, Minneapolis

Straight out of the Marxist playbook of the 1960s and '70s, the anti-somethings swear they are just activists. They use the term "activist" like a Romulan cloaking device for whomever they are deciding to help. Another term they use, "anti-war", is incredibly deceptive. Typically they are not against war, they are on the other side.
(Arabic names added by me)

A good place to start on this story is from an AP dispatch from yesterday, with my comments added. Warning: This is quite long for a blog post.

MINNEAPOLIS — The FBI said it searched eight addresses in Minneapolis and Chicago as part of a terrorism investigation Friday. Warrants suggest agents were looking for connections between local anti-war activists and terrorist groups in Colombia and the Middle East.
FBI spokesman Steve Warfield (ستيڤ وارفيلد) told The Associated Press agents served six warrants in Minneapolis and two in Chicago.
"These were search warrants only," Warfield said. "We're not anticipating any arrests at this time. They're seeking evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism."
Sometimes this is called a "fishing expedition", especially by the supporters of these groups. In reality, the FBI probably had actionable evidence to justify the searches (noted farther down) and they were looking for more evidence.

The homes of longtime Minneapolis anti-war activists Mick Kelly (ميك كَلي), Jess Sundin (جَس سَندين) and Meredith Aby (مَرَديث ابي) were among those searched, they said. All three were subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago: Aby on Oct. 5, Sundin on Oct. 12 and Kelly on Oct. 19.
"The FBI is harassing anti-war organizers and leaders, folks who opposed U.S. intervention in the Middle East and Latin America," Kelly said before agents confiscated his cell phone.
Probably the same thing Julius Kuhn would say if the FBI were looking into the German-American Bund in the 1930s. If he had a cell phone.

Sundin said she believes the searches are connected with the Minnesota Anti-War Committee's opposition to U.S. military aid to Colombia and Israel, as well as its opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It's kind of outrageous that citizens of the United States could be targeted like this," Sundin said.
No, what is outrageous is that you have the notion that you can go assist any terrorist group you like and think that calling yourself by the right sham name gives you some sort of immunity.

In Chicago, the home of activists Joe Iosbaker (جو ايوسباكَر) and his wife, Stephanie Weiner (ستَفاني وَينَر), was searched by more than a dozen agents who carried out boxes full of their possessions — including their cell phones — and loaded them into a white van, the couple's attorney said.
Stepping outside his house briefly as FBI agents searched inside, Iosbaker was clearly shaken when he told The Associated Press: "I have done nothing wrong."
Helping terrorists is wrong, Joe. Seriously, if you want to help out then renounce your US citizenship and go to their country and help them there.

Their attorney, Melinda Power (مَليندا بووَر), said the warrant cited possible support, in her words, "for unnamed terrorist organizations." Iosbaker and Weiner were summoned to testify before a grand jury on Oct. 5.
"These are people committed to social justice," Power said. "That is not a crime in this country."
Codeword alert: "Social Justice" pretty much means other people have stuff and the way to get it is to steal it.  Being committed is not a crime here, this is true. If "Supporting Social Justice" ends up being a charge in court, I am with you on that one getting kicked out. I think they will get charged with something else.

As news of the raid spread around the neighborhood, friends and fellow activists gathered outside the house and several sang John Lennon's (جون لَنون), "Give Peace a Chance."
Not a rhyming chant writer among them! What sort of activist group is this anyway?

"These people have been activists all their lives," said Bob Hearst (بوب هيرست), who said he was a family friend. "I can't imagine why the FBI would have any interest in them."
I declare Bob Hearst the money quote winner of the article.

Warfield said he couldn't comment on whose homes were searched or give details on why because it was an ongoing investigation. "There's no imminent threat to the community," he said.
The Minneapolis searches were first reported by the Star Tribune.
The warrant for Kelly's home, provided by his attorney, sought evidence on travel he did as part of his work for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and information on any travel to Colombia, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria or Israel. The warrant for Sundin's home was similar but included a slightly different list of targeted groups.
Kelly's warrant also said agents sought information on contact with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hezbollah. The U.S. government considers those three groups terrorist organizations.
There is a key. The US, where these people are operating from, has essentially declared the groups these people like helping "outlaws" and helping them lands you into trouble. It is not a difficult concept for normally functioning people to understand. Just because you think your bank robbing buddy you are hiding in your basement, or taking food to his hideout, is a good guy does not absolve you of assisting a wanted felon.  It really does not matter what you think of banks, bankers, capitalists or anything else.

"It appears to be a fishing expedition," said Kelly's attorney, Ted Dooley (تَد دولي). "It seems like they're casting a huge seine or net into the political sea and see what they can drag up on shore and dry out. There's no rhyme or reason to it in a free society."
It looks like they are fishing in the right spot.I do think that law has some overly broad passages and it does not look like anything overly broad was used here.  Kelly's attorney is pretty funny. If what he was saying was true a lot more than six warrants would have been served.

The federal law cited in the search warrant prohibits "providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations."
"I'm having a hard time paying my rent," Kelly said. "There is no material support."
Maybe if you didn't take such expensive trips paying rent might not be so hard.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a free-speech challenge to the law from humanitarian aid groups that said some provisions put them at risk of being prosecuted for talking to terrorist organizations about nonviolent activities.
Two groups use the name Freedom Road Socialist Organization, one based in Chicago and one in New York. They split several years ago, and the New York group said it was not targeted.
Interesting how this "broad net" "fishing expedition" left alone an organization that split from the terrorist supporters.

The website for the Chicago group, which describes itself as a "revolutionary socialist and Marxist-Leninist organization," shows Kelly and Sundin have been affiliated with it. Kelly edits FightBack!, a Minneapolis-based website and newspaper for the group.
How can I take any "revolutionary" organization seriously if they suddenly were not doing anything "wrong" as soon as the cops show up?

Kelly's subpoena also commanded him to bring records he might have relating to the Middle East and Colombia, along with "all records of any payment provided directly or indirectly to Hatam Abudayyeh (هاتام ابودييَه)."
The subpoena did not further identify Abudayyeh, but FightBack has interviewed and carried articles by a Hatam Abudayyeh who's the executive director of the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network. Abudayyeh did not immediately return a phone message left at his office.
Kelly said he went to Lebanon two years ago for a Palestinian solidarity conference, and he's been on Colombian radio by phone from the U.S.
Sundin said she visited Colombia 10 years ago for a conference organized by a social movement there in opposition to U.S. military aid.
Aby said she went to Palestine in 2002 and Colombia in 2004 and 2006 to meet with activists. She said anyone who's an activist in those counties gets labeled as a terrorist.
Just a wild guess here, they probably traveled more often and under different names than the ones given here in the AP story.

Both Sundin and Kelly were organizers of a mass march on the first day of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul two years ago, and recently appeared at a news conference to announce plans for another protest if Minneapolis is selected to hold the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Finally, there is something mentioned in this article that they did that was perfectly fine and legal.

Police estimated the peaceful march in 2008 drew 10,000 protesters; organizers put the figure at 30,000. Other protests were marked by destructive acts by anarchists. More than 800 people were arrested during the four days of the convention, including Sundin and Kelly.
I spoke too soon.

Other Minnesota anti-war activists whose homes were searched included Anh Pham (انه بهم), Sarah Martin (ساراه مارتين) and Tracy Molm (ترَيسي مولم), Dooley said. He said he didn't know whose homes were searched in Chicago.
The FBI's spokesman in Chicago, Ross Rice (روس رايس), would only say two searches were conducted Friday in Chicago and there were no arrests.
No arrests, yet.

Asked about the reports, the U.S. Attorney's office spokesman in Chicago, Randy Samborn (راندي سامبورن), confirmed warrants were served in the city "in connection with a law enforcement investigation." He also declined to provide details.
Associated Press Writers Michael Tarm (ميخائيل تارم) in Chicago and Martiga Lohn (مارتيغا لون) in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
Prediction: If charges are brought against this bunch, they will claim to be "political prisoners" just like Sirhan Sirhan (سيرهان سيرهان) was tagged by Bill Ayers (بيل يَرس) in a book dedication.

Zombie writes:

In my exposé, I highlighted what I thought were the most noteworthy aspects of Prairie Fire, including the part where Ayers brags about and then lists in detail the numerous terrorist bombings he carried out in the 1970s; where he describes himself as a communist, and cites his desire for a communist revolution to overthrow the United States; where he cites the many motivations driving the Weather Underground’s terror campaign, most of which had nothing whatsoever to do with the Vietnam War (as the media endlessly claims to this day); and so on. I also listed the many close links between Ayers and Obama.
Almost as an aside, I pointed out halfway through the report an absurd detail that I noticed by accident when scanning one of the book’s pages — that Ayers and his co-authors had dedicated Prairie Fire to (among dozens of lesser known criminals and radicals) Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin who killed Robert F. Kennedy (روبَرت ف. كَنَدي).
I am including that passage as a companion to the article above. Bill Ayers and the people who were served warrants by the FBI in the first story are of the delusional mindset that they can do whatever they want and their actions should have no consequences against them.  Maybe the people in the AP story were not actually throwing bombs. However, any support given to terrorist groups only serves to strengthen them.


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