Tag Archives | FBI

Trade Unionists Speak Out Against FBI Attacks on Civil Liberties

AFSCMEJoe Burns writing in Working In These Times:

Important labor groups are speaking out against the recent spate of federal attacks on the civil liberties of U.S. peace and labor activists. On October 1, 2010, the convention of AFSCME Council 5, representing 46,000 public employees in Minnesota, passed a resolution objecting to recent FBI raids of prominent peace and labor rights activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Likewise, the San Francisco Central Labor Council delegates meeting voted on September 27 to denounce the raids and “participate in the ongoing movement to defend our civil rights and civil liberties from FBI infringement.”

On September 24, the FBI raided the homes of seven activists, seizing computers, cell phones and documents. The FBI also raided the offices of the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee, seizing their computer containing a database of supporters. The peace movement nationally has roundly condemned the FBI for attempting to silence dissent.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

FBI Wants Its GPS Back After Device Is Found By Student

Afterwards, agents told him not to worry … because he’s “boring”… but apparently he was just interesting enough to merit between 3 to 6 months of observation … and a GPS tracker under his car. From Kim Zetter at Wired. Enjoy the article … and consider its ramifications.

GPS Tracking Device

A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do.

It took just 48 hours to find out: The device was real, the student was being secretly tracked and the FBI wanted their expensive device back, the student told Wired.com in an interview Wednesday.

The answer came when half-a-dozen FBI agents and police officers appeared at Yasir Afifi’s apartment complex in Santa Clara, California, on Tuesday demanding he return the device.

Continue Reading

The Return of COINTELPRO?

FBI_logoWell it certainly seems like it! Former Army Intelligence case officer in Vietnam, Jeff Stein writes for the Washington Post:

There was a time in the 1960s when the FBI’s illegal surveillance of left-wing groups seemed, and maybe even was, sinister if not broadly menacing. Parts of today’s Justice Department report on its more recent activities, however, evoke that old saw about history repeating itself as farce.

The Inspector General’s report covered a number of FBI targets following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: an antiwar rally in Pittsburgh; a Catholic peace magazine; a Quaker activist; and members of the environmental group Greenpeace as well as of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.

My favorite story was about the rookie FBI agent who was dispatched to an antiwar rally in Pittsburgh with a camera and told to look for terrorism suspects.

It was “a slow work day,” the IG report said — the Friday after Thanksgiving 2002.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Al-Qaeda’s New Leader

alqaedaleaderAP is reporting that Al-Qaeda has a new leader, per the FBI:

A suspected al-Qaida operative who lived for more than 15 years in the U.S. has become chief of the terror network’s global operations, the FBI says, marking the first time a leader so intimately familiar with American society has been placed in charge of planning attacks.

Adnan Shukrijumah, 35, has taken over a position once held by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was captured in 2003, Miami-based FBI counterterrorism agent Brian LeBlanc told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview. That puts him in regular contact with al-Qaida’s senior leadership, including Osama bin Laden, LeBlanc said.

Shukrijumah (SHOOK’-ree joohm-HAH’) and two other leaders were part of an “external operations council” that designed and approved terrorism plots and recruits, but his two counterparts were killed in U.S. drone attacks, leaving Shukrijumah as the de facto chief and successor to Mohammed – his former boss.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Howard Zinn Investigated for Criticism of FBI

Even after death, Howard Zinn is keeping the FBI on its toes. RawStory has been researching the FBI’s investigation of Zinn:

FBI files show bureau may have tried to get Zinn fired from Boston University for his political opinions.

Those who knew of the dissident historian Howard Zinn would not be surprised that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI kept tabs on him for decades during the Cold War.

But in a release of documents pertaining to Zinn, the bureau admitted that one of its investigations into the left-wing academic was prompted not by suspicion of criminal activity, but by Zinn’s criticism of the FBI’s record on civil rights investigations.

“In 1949, the FBI opened a domestic security investigation on Zinn,” the bureau states. “The Bureau noted Zinn’s activities in what were called Communist Front Groups and received informant reports that Zinn was an active member of the CPUSA; Zinn denied ever being a member when he was questioned by agents in the 1950s.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

FBI Vs. Wikipedia: Round One

FBI_logoThe New York Times seemingly delights in ridiculing the FBI (careful you mainstream media guys, you may be biting the hand that feeds…):

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken on everyone from Al Capone to John Dillinger to the Unabomber. Its latest adversary: Wikipedia.

The bureau wrote a letter in July to the Wikimedia Foundation, the parent organization of Wikipedia, demanding that it take down an image of the F.B.I. seal accompanying an article on the bureau, and threatened litigation: “Failure to comply may result in further legal action. We appreciate your timely attention to this matter.”

The problem, those at Wikipedia say, is that the law cited in the F.B.I.’s letter is largely about keeping people from flashing fake badges or profiting from the use of the seal, and not about posting images on noncommercial Web sites. Many sites, including the online version of the Encyclopedia Britannica, display the seal.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Obama Administration Seeking to Ease FBI Access to Records of An Individual’s Internet Activity

Agent SmithGiven how little is understood about exactly what “Top Secret America” is actually doing, or has been doing since 9/11, there is room for concern here, even for us law-abiding citizens. Ellen Nakashima writes in the Washington Post:

The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual’s Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.

The administration wants to add just four words — “electronic communication transactional records” — to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge’s approval. Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and possibly a user’s browser history. It does not include, the lawyers hasten to point out, the “content” of e-mail or other Internet communication.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Justice Department Investigates FBI Agents Cheating on Exams

Oh the irony! Agents being investigated because of the lack of surveillance while they cheated on a surveillance test. It seems the SATs are harder to cheat on than an FBI exam. Associated Press has the story:

FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress on Wednesday that he does not know how many of his agents cheated on an important exam on the bureau’s policies, an embarrassing revelation that raises questions about whether the FBI knows its own rules for conducting surveillance on Americans.

The Justice Department inspector general is investigating whether hundreds of agents cheated on the test. Some took the open-book test together, violating rules that they take it alone. Others finished the lengthy exam unusually quickly, current and former officials said.

The test was supposed to ensure that FBI agents understand new rules allowing them to conduct surveillance and open files on Americans without evidence of criminal wrongdoing. If agents can’t pass that test without cheating, civil liberties groups ask, how can they follow them?

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Blogetery And The FBI’s War On Terror

FBI_logoGreg Sandoval writes for CNET News:

The U.S. war on terror may have inadvertently stripped as many as 70,000 people of their blogs, but those bloggers may get their work returned to them.

Blogetery.com, a small blogging platform based in Toronto, was abruptly shut down on July 9 by Burst.net, its Web host, after FBI agents alleged Blogetery was home to links that led to bomb-making tips and the names of Americans targeted for assassination by al-Qaeda. Joe Marr, Burst.net’s chief technology officer, said Wednesday that the company is considering its options and there’s a chance executives there could hand over a copy of most of the information found on Blogetery’s server–it won’t be returning anything created by al-Qaeda. That means the service’s users could see their blogs again. What they won’t see is Burst.net hosting Blogetery in the future, said Marr. That relationship is severed.

After the FBI requested information about Blogetery, Scranton, Pa.-based Burst.net cut off Internet access for the service.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Lying And Spying: The Economy Is Sinking, Confidence Is Down Along With The Market – Is A Depression Coming?

FBI_logoThe FBI arrests 1200 Americans for mortgage fraud in the largest crackdown of its kind in history. There is no media focus on the companies that securitized and insured their toxic loans. This white-collar crime sweep is, at best, a one-day story with most of the reports carried by local outlets.

Clearly the FBI did not get the media punch it had hoped for. The issue of financial industry fraud did not even register on the media’s Richter scale.

Two weeks later, the FBI tried again, this time with an ill-timed, years in the making bust of 11 alleged Russian spies accused, so it seems, of impersonating Americans with no sign that they carried out successful espionage missions.

The story grew legs, in several senses, after it was discovered that one of the “spies” posted sexy pictures of herself on Facebook and other sites.

Ooo la-la: Predictably, she has now become the story; No one knows what to think about the FBI’s motives in pumping up this cold war like drama.… Read the rest

Continue Reading