The attorney of one of the peace and justice activists at eight addresses in Minneapolis and Chicago that were raided early Friday morning by the FBI said that the operation "appears to be a fishing expedition" in pursuit of what the FBI called a search for connections between antiwar activists and terrorist groups in Colombia and the Middle East, the Associated Press said late in the day.[1]  --  No arrests were made, and none are anticipated "at this time," an FBI spokesman said, but a number of subpoenas were served.  --  The FBI served papers that expressed an interest in links to Mideast and Colombian groups that the Chicago-based branch of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization might have, Steve Karnowski reported.  --  Many of the activists affected were involved in protests at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN, in 2008.  --  The New York Times posted a short article on the raids.[2]  --  The Chicago Tribune reported that FBI agents raided the house of Hatam Abudayyeh, the executive director of the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network, and at another house agents took "30 boxes of papers dating to the 1970s, including a postcard from an old girlfriend."[3]  --  COMMENT:  In a column posted early Saturday, a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury with a Ph.D. in economics, Paul Craig Roberts, said the "FBI foray into the homes of American citizens of conscience" means that the United States is now a "police state."  --  "The FBI’s own words clearly indicate that the federal police agency and the judges who signed the warrants do not regard antiwar protesters as Americans exercising their Constitutional rights, but as unpatriotic elements offering material support to terrorism."[4]  --  "Violent extremism" and "material support" are elastic, undefined police state terms, Roberts said.  --  "In this context the term means . . . Americans who fail to believe their government."  --  Roberts predicted that "As this initial FBI foray is a softening up move to get the public accustomed to the idea that the real terrorists are their fellow citizens here at home, [Mick] Kelly will get off this time.  But next time the FBI will find emails on his computer from a 'terrorist group' set up by the CIA that will incriminate him.  Under the practices put in place by the Bush and Obama regimes, and approved by corrupt federal judges, protesters who have been compromised by fake terrorist groups can be declared 'enemy combatants.'"  --  A 25-minute YouTube video of a Minneapolis meeting in response to the raids can be viewed here....
 
1.

FBI SERVES TERRORISM WARRANTS IN MINN., CHICAGO

By Steve Karnowski

Associated Press
September 24, 2010

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gqOR09wHcq7ZB-Bdb4D5ZIZUY5bAD9IEKUC01


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 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."

The homes of longtime Minneapolis anti-war activists Mick Kelly, Jess Sundin, and Meredith Aby 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.

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.

In Chicago, the home of activists Joe Iosbaker and his wife, Stephanie Weiner, 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."

Their attorney, Melinda Power, 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."

As news of the raid spread around the neighborhood, friends and fellow activists gathered outside the house and several sang John Lennon's, "Give Peace a Chance."

"These people have been activists all their lives," said Bob Hearst, who said he was a family friend.  "I can't imagine why the FBI would have any interest in them."

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.

"It appears to be a fishing expedition," said Kelly's attorney, Ted Dooley.  "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."

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."

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

Other Minnesota anti-war activists whose homes were searched included Anh Pham, Sarah Martin, and Tracy Molm, Dooley said.  He said he didn't know whose homes were searched in Chicago.

The FBI's spokesman in Chicago, Ross Rice, would only say two searches were conducted Friday in Chicago and there were no arrests.

Asked about the reports, the U.S. Attorney's office spokesman in Chicago, Randy Samborn, 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 in Chicago and Martiga Lohn in Minneapolis contributed to this report.


2.

Politics

FBI SEARCHES ANTIWAR ACTIVISTS' HOMES

By Colin Moynihan

New York Times

September 24, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/us/politics/25search.html


FBI 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 FBI broke down Mr. Kelly’s door around 7:00 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.”

3.

News

Chicagoland

FBI RAIDS ANTI-WAR ACTIVISTS' HOMES

By Michael Tarm

** Agents looking for links to terrorists, federal spokesman says **

Chicago Tribune

September 24, 2010

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-fbi-terrorism-investigation-20100924,0,4070320.story


Federal agents searched homes of anti-war activists in Chicago and Minneapolis on Friday in an investigation of possible links with terrorist organizations in the Middle East and South America.

About 20 FBI agents spent most of the day searching the Logan Square residence of activists Stephanie Weiner and Joseph Iosbaker, Weiner said.

In Jefferson Park, neighbors saw FBI agents carrying boxes from the apartment of community activist Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the Arab American Action Network.  In addition, Chicago activist Thomas Burke said he was served a grand jury subpoena that requested records of any payments to Abudayyeh or his group.

"The warrants are seeking evidence in support of an ongoing Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation into activities concerning the material support of terrorism," said Steve Warfield, spokesman for the FBI in Minneapolis, where six additional homes were searched Friday.

Warfield said no arrests had been made and that there was no "imminent danger" to the public.

Ross Rice, an FBI spokesman in Chicago, gave the two Chicago blocks where agents had searched homes Friday, but he declined to name the targets.

Melinda Power, an attorney for Weiner and Iosbaker and a longtime friend, said agents took about 30 boxes of papers dating to the 1970s, including a postcard from an old girlfriend of Iosbaker's.

"They said they would determine what was evidence later," Power said.

Weiner, who said she and her husband for years have been active in labor causes and the anti-war movement, complained the search was an attempt to intimidate her and other activists.

"We aren't doing anything differently than we have in 20 years," said Weiner, a teacher at Wilbur Wright College.  Iosbaker is a staff member at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a union steward for Service Employees International Union Local 73.

Burke said he received a grand jury subpoena requesting records of payments to Abudayyeh's organization as well as two groups among the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The subpoena also requested "items relating to trips to Colombia, Jordan, Syria, the Palestinian territories of Israel." Burke said he toured Colombia eight years ago with members of an oil workers union there.

Burke, a former school custodian-turned-stay-at-home father, belongs to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, a group mentioned in subpoenas and search warrants issued Friday to activists in Minneapolis.

Burke said he knows Weiner, Iosbaker, and Abudayyeh from years of involvement in demonstrations and activities in Chicago.  Most of the people whose homes were searched or who were issued subpoenas attended anti-war rallies at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., he said.

In a statement issued on behalf of the activists, Minneapolis activist Steff Yorek said the homes of a number of anti-war, socialist or pro-Palestinian groups had been searched by the FBI.

Yorek, whose home was also searched Friday, called the searches "an outrageous fishing expedition."

"Activists have the right not to speak with the FBI and are encouraged to politely refuse," she said.

Several of those targeted with warrants or subpoenas are also occasional contributors to *Fight Back!*, a socialist newsletter that is generally supportive of leftist groups and critical of U.S. "wars of occupation" in Iraq and Afghanistan, Burke said.

"We pretty much all know each other," Burke said.  "We barely have money to publish our magazine.  We might write about (revolutionary groups) favorably, but as for giving them material aid, nothing."

Weiner and Iosbaker were also subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago on Oct. 5, Power said.

Not long after the FBI agents left, a group of about 20 demonstrators gathered outside the couple's home, carrying signs and singing "Give Peace a Chance."

Sarah Simmons, 51, held a piece of paper printed with a peace sign.  She said she had known the couple for 15 years.  "I think this is outrageous," she said.

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4.

IT IS OFFICIAL: THE U.S. IS A POLICE STATE

By Paul Craig Roberts

Antiwar.com
September 25, 2010

http://original.antiwar.com/roberts/2010/09/24/it-is-official-the-us-is-a-police-state/


On September 24, Jason Ditz reported on Antiwar.com that "the FBI is confirming that this morning they began a number of raids against the homes of antiwar activists in Illinois, Minneapolis, Michigan, and North Carolina, claiming that they are ‘seeking evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism.’"

Now we know what Homeland Security (sic) secretary Janet Napolitano meant when she said on September 10:  "The old view that ‘if we fight the terrorists abroad, we won’t have to fight them here’  is just that -- the old view."  The new view, Napolitano said, is "to counter violent extremism right here at home."

"Violent extremism" is one of those undefined police state terms that will mean whatever the government wants it to mean.  In this morning’s FBI foray into the homes of American citizens of conscience, it means antiwar activists, whose activities are equated with "the material support of terrorism," just as conservatives equated Vietnam era antiwar protesters with giving material support to communism.

Antiwar activist Mick Kelly, whose home was raided, sees the FBI raids as harassment to intimidate those who organize war protests.  I wonder if Kelly is underestimating the threat.  The FBI’s own words clearly indicate that the federal police agency and the judges who signed the warrants do not regard antiwar protesters as Americans exercising their Constitutional rights, but as unpatriotic elements offering material support to terrorism.

"Material support" is another of those undefined police state terms.  In this context the term means that Americans who fail to believe their government’s lies and instead protest its policies, are supporting their government’s declared enemies and, thus, are not exercising their civil liberties but committing treason.

As this initial FBI foray is a softening up move to get the public accustomed to the idea that the real terrorists are their fellow citizens here at home, Kelly will get off this time.  But next time the FBI will find emails on his computer from a "terrorist group" set up by the CIA that will incriminate him.  Under the practices put in place by the Bush and Obama regimes, and approved by corrupt federal judges, protesters who have been compromised by fake terrorist groups can be declared "enemy combatants" and sent off to Egypt, Poland, or some other corrupt American puppet state -- Canada perhaps -- to be tortured until confession is forthcoming that antiwar protesters and, indeed, every critic of the U.S. government, are on Osama bin Laden’s payroll.

Almost every Republican and conservative and, indeed, the majority of Americans will fall for this, only to find, later, that it is subversive to complain that their Social Security was cut in the interest of the war against Iran or some other demonized entity, or that they couldn’t have a Medicare operation because the wars in Central Asia and South America required the money.

Americans are the most gullible people who ever existed.  They tend to support the government instead of the Constitution,  and almost every Republican and conservative regards civil liberty as a coddling device that encourages criminals and terrorists.

The U.S. media, highly concentrated in violation of the American principle of a diverse and independent media, will lend its support to the witch hunts that will close down all protests and independent thought in the U.S. over the next few years.  As the Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels said, "think of the press as a great keyboard on which the Government can play."

An American Police State was inevitable once Americans let "their" government get away with 9/11.  Americans are too gullible, too uneducated, and too jingoistic to remain a free people.  As another Nazi leader Herman Goering said, "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.  Tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace-makers for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger."

This is precisely what the Bush and Obama regimes have done.  America, as people of my generation knew it, no longer exists.