LAW ENFORCEMENT CRACKDOWN ON TERRORISTS
By April Thompson
** Operation Sudden Impact rounds up suspects -- Officers say the raid can also help identify possible terrorists -- Shelby County Sheriff's Department calls the multi-agency force a success **
WREG News Channel 3 (Memphis, TN)
April 14, 2008
MEMPHIS -- Traveling around Memphis, you probably don't think much about terrorists, but law officers do.
It was front and center stage at a round up Saturday.
Operation Sudden Impact included police, deputies, FBI, drug agents, and even gang units all working together to see how crimes may be linked.
"People committing crimes down in Crittenden County might have some kind of warrant, and we might be looking for them in Shelby County. We in turn feed that information into state police, which can give us a national and international nexus if one exists," says Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell.
He says terrorists usually have other links and because Memphis is a distribution center, it has to be especially on guard. That includes the waterways.
The U.S. Coast Guard in Memphis was a part of Saturday's round-up, checking a boat on the river.
"We look at everything, the safety of the tow boat in general. We also check out the crew members, just to make sure there is nobody hiding out on the tow boat, felons, criminals etc.," says Lt. Timothy Martin of the U.S. Coast Guard in Memphis.
They say sharing information and building relationships is a big step in fighting back against those intent on harm.
The Sheriff's Department says 332 people were arrested, 142 of whom are were fugitives.
Hundreds of dollars were seized and drugs recovered, and 1,292 traffic violations were handed out.
They are determining if and when they plan another round-up.
CRIME, TERROR TARGETS FOR WEEKEND AS 6 COUNTIES AND 3 STATES TEAM UP FOR INITIATIVE
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
April 10, 2008
Law-enforcement agencies in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas this weekend will participate in an anti-crime and anti-terrorism initiative that will involve officers from more than 50 federal, state, and local agencies.
Called "Operation Sudden Impact," the initiative will have officers from six counties rounding up fugitives, conducting traffic checkpoints, and doing other crime-abatement programs from 7 a.m. Saturday through 7 a.m. Sunday.
The names of those arrested, given traffic citations, or otherwise noted will be reviewed by the Shelby County Sheriff's Homeland Security Operations Center. Information will then be forwarded to the Tennessee Homeland Security Center in Nashville to watch for any possible ties to terrorist activity.
"This is the first time a regional effort of this magnitude has ever been conducted," said Shelby County Sheriff Mark H. Luttrell Jr. said in a prepared statement. "We'll use this weekend's initiative as a starting point to begin a routine of sharing crime information among the various agencies."
Agencies involved include the FBI, the U.S. Coast Guard, area police and sheriff's departments, the U.S. Marshals, the Secret Service, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
"Many major industries are located in Shelby County," said Capt. Dale Lane, commander of the Sheriff's Office Homeland Security Bureau. "Our community is considered an international distribution center and is a possible target for terrorists. 'Operation Sudden Impact' will help us prepare for that possibility."
DO TENNESSEE BUSINESSES HAVE TIES TO TERRORISM?
SKY 5 (Memphis, TN)
April 14, 2008
MEMPHIS -- Federal agencies raided several Memphis businesses in a coordinated effort to find information about possible terrorism ties.
The operation has been named known as "Sudden Impact."
The FBI along with hundreds of officers said they are looking for anything out of the ordinary. Agents take computers and paperwork from businesses.
One store owner said he was told the agents were looking for stolen electronics. While some business owners feel they are being targeted, law-enforcement officers said they are just trying to track down possible terrorists before something big happens.
"What we have found traditionally is that terrorists are involved in a number of lesser known type crimes," said Mark Luttrell, Shelby County sheriff.
There has been no word on if any of the confiscated goods have led to any arrests.
MEMPHIS-AREA AGENCIES TEAM UP FOR ANTI-TERRORISM INITIATIVE
April 14, 2008
MEMPHIS -- Several Memphis-area agencies teamed up for an anti-terrorism initiative that resulted in the arrest of 71 people, including 31 fugitives.
The 24-hour street sweep that ended early Sunday was coordinated by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
They pulled over cars, climbed on boats on the Mississippi River and served fugitive warrants.
Capt. Dale Lane, commander of the Sheriff's Office Homeland Security Bureau, said the city is a possible terrorist target and use federal grants to fight regional crime.
'IMPACT' OF LAW ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVE IS TEAMWORK
By Don Wade
** Cooperation among agencies seen as major goal of operation **
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
April 12, 2008
The 50-plus federal, state and local agencies involved in this weekend's "Operation Sudden Impact" count on that name becoming something of a misnomer.
Later today, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, which coordinated the effort with police agencies from six counties and three states, is expected to release arrest numbers from the 24-hour operation that began at 7 a.m. Saturday. Call that the "sudden impact."
But it's the cooperation among agencies including the FBI, the Coast Guard, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and local police and sheriff's departments that could make for a lasting impact.
"We all deal with the same people and same information," said Sgt. Brett Grosmann of the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department. "But we don't (always) know the other person has the information."
"It's just the open communication," added Insp. Steve Todd of the Bartlett Police Department. "In the past, there wasn't a lot of communication. Everybody seemed to do their own thing."
While the operation was billed as a regional "anti-terrorism initiative," the scope was also broad -- everything from the serving of fugitive warrants to spot checks of boats on the Mississippi River to ensuring drivers in Tipton County had their children properly fastened into child safety seats.
"Not all of this initiative is to arrest people," said Deputy Chief Donna Turner of the Tipton County Sheriff's Department.
Many agencies put an emphasis on traffic stops. A little after 8 p.m. Saturday in Hickory Hill, Sgt. Chris Harris of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office street crimes unit stopped a white SUV that was booming with music. The driver was driving on a suspended license -- he received a citation -- and there was marijuana residue in the car, but "not enough to weigh out," Harris said.
Still, every traffic stop holds the potential of netting much more than expected.
"Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the federal building in Oklahoma, was stopped because of a busted tail light," said Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell.
Todd said he expected Bartlett police to hit more than 50 houses Saturday night and this morning in search of fugitives. Those they didn't find and arrest, he expected they might apprehend within a few days.
"Some of these people will turn themselves in later once they know we know where they live," Todd said. "Family members will put pressure on them."
Lt. Timothy Martin, chief of response for the Coast Guard's Sector Lower Mississippi River unit, said in recent weeks they have been working with local police and fire departments.
"We're out there to show that just as the land side is covered by police and the sheriff," Martin said, "we're on the water, boarding boats, checking bridges, refineries, and power plants."
All crime-related information will be forwarded to the State of Tennessee's Homeland Security Center in Nashville to see if there are possible ties to terrorism.
-- Don Wade: 529-2358
THREE STATES SUBJECTED TO "MARTIAL LAW SWEEPS"
By Steve Watson
** Local, state police and sheriff's office join feds for "terror" sweeps that result in hundreds of citations for traffic violations **
April 18, 2008
Federal law enforcement agencies co-opted sheriffs' offices as well state and local police forces in three states last weekend for a vast round up operation that one sheriff's deputy has described as "martial law training."
Law-enforcement agencies in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas took part in what was described by local media as "an anti-crime and anti-terrorism initiative" involving officers from more than 50 federal, state, and local agencies.
Given the military style name "Operation Sudden Impact," the initiative saw officers from six counties rounding up fugitives, conducting traffic checkpoints, climbing on boats on the Mississippi River, and doing other "crime-abatement" programs all under the label of "anti-terrorism."
WREG Memphis news channel 3 reported that the Sheriff's Department arrested 332 people, 142 of whom were fugitives, or "terrorists" as they now seem to be known.
Hundreds of dollars were seized and drugs recovered, and 1,292 traffic violations were handed out to speeding terrorists and illegally parked terrorists.
The authorities even raided businesses and store owners, confiscating computers and paperwork in an effort to "track down possible terrorists before something big happens."
The Sheriff's Department is determining if and when they plan another round-up.
The operation, which involved police, deputies, the FBI, drug agents, gang units and even the coast guard, is just one example of how law enforcement at the state and local levels is being co-opted and centralized by the Department of Homeland Security via massive federal grants.
It also highlights how the distinction between crime and terrorism is becoming irrelevant.
An Infowars reader called in to the Alex Jones show yesterday to alert us to the story and explain that he had gleaned the information from a his friend, a sheriff's deputy in Memphis, who had described the operation as "training for martial law in America."
Forget innocent until proven guilty, you are now a terrorist suspect until you are told otherwise.
It is now the norm to consider everybody equally likely to be guilty of something than innocent. This is proactive policing, not preventative or reactive policing, and is widely indicative of a society that is NOT free.
This form of proactive policing is a phenomena indicative of a once free state rapidly declining into a authoritarian police state.
If there was a real terror threat in these states, it would surely make sense for law enforcement agencies to target known trouble areas, and follow up on already existing leads. Instead we are seeing local police and the coast guard being recruited to randomly target anyone in any area as possible terrorists.
Surely if there was a real terror threat, this activity would harm the effort to combat it.
Of course, such activity is clearly not related to a real and tangible terror threat, it is related to the ongoing effort to vastly increase the size and scope of the federal government and increase the power it has over American citizens.
The information and intelligence from the operation will be collated and routed through federally funded state-run fusion centers, which are working in conjunction with the military arm of the DHS, NORTHCOM.
Such information will soon include the DNA and other biometric information from every person arrested, which DHS head Michael Chertoff has declared is no longer your personal information.
We recently reported on the fact that after 9/11 the Justice Department advised the Bush administration that it was able to effectively suspend the Fourth Amendment where domestic counter terrorism operations are concerned.
In light of this, and given that the government has begun to class any crime as terrorism and set local and state police to work on "anti-terror" operations, it is clear that the protections provided by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are under direct threat.
We have seen how new provisions will effectively nullify the U.S. Constitution, and a recent spate of executive orders, in particular PDD 51, outline preparations for the implementation of open martial law in the event of a declared national emergency.
Centralized and federally coordinated law enforcement programs complement nationwide FEMA programs to train pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to "obey the government" in preparation for the implementation of martial law, property, and firearm seizures, mass vaccination programs and forced relocation. The effects of this particular program have already been witnessed.
STATE "FUSION CENTERS" AND PENTAGON-RUN FBI PROGRAMS SPY ON AMERICANS
By Steve Watson
** Panopticon society in full swing **
April 2, 2008
Fresh revelations of state and Pentagon-run terrorist surveillance programs that "skirt legal restrictions" serve to remind the American public that they are now the prime suspects in the post-9/11 panopticon society.
Separate documents obtained by the ACLU and the *Washington Post* have created similar headlines on the same day about two new freedom-eroding processes that have been in full swing for some time.
Intelligence centers run by states across the country have access to personal information about millions of Americans, including unlisted cellphone numbers, insurance claims, driver's license photographs and credit reports, according to the Washington Post: "Dozens of the organizations known as fusion centers were created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to identify potential threats and improve the way information is shared. The centers use law enforcement analysts and sophisticated computer systems to compile, or fuse, disparate tips and clues and pass along the refined information to other agencies."
The centers received $254 million from the Department of Homeland Security between 2004 and 2007 and also work in conjunction with the military arm of the DHS, NORTHCOM.
They also have subscriptions to private information-broker services that keep records about Americans' locations, financial holdings, associates, relatives, firearms licenses and the like.
Some of these data-brokers, such as one in Maryland called Entersect, claim to hold records about 98 percent of Americans.
The justification is, as always, the war on terror, but the targets of the information-gathering are everyday Americans.
"There is never ever enough information when it comes to terrorism" said Maj. Steven G. O'Donnell, deputy superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police. "That's what post-9/11 is about."
Yes sir, drill that "post-9/11" mantra into our brains one more time, please.
In a separate revelation, AP reports that the military is using the FBI to skirt legal restrictions on domestic surveillance to obtain private records of Americans' Internet service providers, financial institutions, and telephone companies, according to Pentagon documents.
The documents were obtained by the ACLU after it sued the Defense Department last year for its withholding of information pertaining to national security letters, which are used to force businesses, such as internet service providers, to turn over information on their customers without subpoena.
"Newly unredacted documents released today reveal that the Department of Defense is using the FBI to circumvent legal limits on its own NSL power," said the ACLU.
In other words, the military is using the federal government as a go-between in order to obtain the personal information of American citizens.
The DoD is not authorized to obtain e-mail and phone records or lists of web sites that people have visited as it is illegal for the military to engage in domestic investigations, yet the FBI can currently get the information by using a national security letter.
The ACLU also alleges that the military lied to Congress and silenced NSL recipients from speaking out about the records requests.
TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS
These latest revelations are to be added to the countless instances of unaccountable government and military programs that have been in operation for decades, all centered around covertly spying and gathering information on American citizens.
We have extensively documented such programs from COINTELPRO through to Operation CHAOS, the Defense Department's Counterintelligence Field Activity, and the recent NSA warrantless wiretapping.
We are now witnessing the coordination and mass consolidation of scores of these operations into one all-encompassing panopticon program.
After 9/11 the work of 16 different intelligence agencies, including the CIA and the giant National Security Agency, which eavesdrops on international communications, as well as the Energy Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration was centralized under the office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Why such rampant centralization? Why is the military now so intent on fusing itself with the federal government via Homeland security and through the FBI and why are the targets of their operations always American citizens?
We are constantly bombarded with the notion that the biggest threat we face is from those who reject and abhor Western values, yet the government and military continue to relentlessly focus their anti-terror activity directly upon freedom-loving American people.