September 25, 2010
F.B.I. Searches Antiwar Activists’ Homes, New York Times, Colin Moynihan, Sept 24, 2010
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.”
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