Political and anti-war activists in the Midwest said they were the target Friday of searches the FBI called part of an investigation into the "material support of terrorism."
Warrants led to the search of five residences and one office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, said FBI spokesman Steve Warfield, who said there were no arrests. Two other searches were conducted in Chicago, Illinois.
Activist Tom Burke in Chicago said he and others in Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan were served subpoenas to testify before a grand jury. He also said computer hard drives were taken from locations in both cities, as well as a cell phone in Minneapolis...
From The New York Times.
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...
...Most of the raids were conducted in Minneapolis and were related to antiwar leaders in that city. Other raids were also reported in Chicago, Michigan, and North Carolina. Many of the homes targeted in Minneapolis were related to the Marxist-Leninist group “Freedom Road Socialist Organization” (FRSO) but this was not the only group targeted.
According to Reuters, Chicago antiwar activist (and longtime gay rights activist) Andy Thayer was also targeted, which he attributed to “solidarity work, for speaking out on the issues of the day.”
CNN also listed the Palestine Solidarity Group, the Twin Cities Antiwar Committee, and Students for a Democratic Society as groups whose members were targeted. The Twin Cities Antiwar Committee’s office was also raided according to the group’s attorneys.