By Dan Feidt for Twin Cities Indymedia - More than 300 newly released pages of Iowa FBI investigation files confirm the existence of a busy network of federal agents across the Midwest dedicated to clamping down on political dissenters. A Freedom of Information Act request by Des Moines' David Goodner revealed two extensive "Terrorism Enterprise" style investigations against dissenters mainly run by the Omaha FBI office into Iowa, including digging through garbage, watching restaurants, advanced data mining and cell phone record collection. The agents involved claimed "statistical accomplishment" of saving our nation from terrorism: this is exactly, how, and why, federal agents endlessly create pretend counterterror campaigns.
More incidents keep spilling out: yet another report from the Department of Justice oversight office (ZIP 2.4MB), the Office of the Inspector General, spelled out the FBI's deception towards Congress in spying on antiwar activists in Pittsburgh and elsewhere. The DOJ-OIG report focuses on FBI spying against meetings at Pittsburgh's Thomas Merton Center, the friendly group which houses Twin Cities Indymedia's counterpart, PGH Independent Media Center, and hosted many IMCers during the 2009 G20. And of course they cheated on tests about surveillance!
Download Cointelpro Gothic - the Iowa investigation, proving the existence of a national FBI Domestic Terrorism "Anarchists Team": 300 pages FBI FOIA [9MB PDF/ Browse]. Related coverage: Iowa FBI investigation in Des Moines Register | ACLU files new PGH G20 lawsuit | PGH Trib-Review: Lawsuit planned after terror list | Docs show anti-drill PA tracking | OIG: FBI Inappropriately Tracked Domestic Advocacy Groups - The Atlantic. Below the fold: How FBI launches counterterror snooping, adds dissidents to terror watchlists!
First a quick related note: Minnesotans' political activities also have been targeted in Pennsylvania, as indicated by the recently exposed confidential state homeland security contract with an Israeli-American 'counter terror' consultancy, paid by taxpayers to spy on the activities of many political dissidents. Both the Pennsylvania case and the Iowa/Omaha investigations targeted Minnesotans because their political activities made them visible. The Pennsylvania homeland security intelligence-gathering contract produced 137 reports called the "Pennsylvania Intelligence Bulletin", which were posted in full on PublicIntelligence.net. Included were entries about the August Conspiracy Tour launched from Minneapolis, mainly cribbed from website info. Along with info about any events involving the controversial Marcellus Shale gas drilling projects, various random anarchist, antiwar and Islamic events and holidays got described in ominous tones. A "Yes Men Save the World" screening could trigger illegal actions, warned the Israeli-American consultants. Download all here ZIP, or browse it on Scribd.com.
Turning back to the Iowa FBI documents, we can learn a number of important structural features about how the FBI's turbocharged domestic terrorism machine targets people, feeds data around, and adds people to the actual main Terrorist Watchlist. A number of interesting features emerge from the Iowa/Omaha FBI investigations, though heavily redacted. The investigation methods including LexisNexis and obscure tracking systems, as well as the propagandizing material distributed among authorities like the infamous tattoo paranoia pamphlet, are laid out in the docs. We can't learn everything, but we can clearly see that federal agents are incentivized to accuse people of more-or-less quasi-terrorism, then claim statistical terrorism accomplishments to advance their careers. The proof is all in these documents. Are you feeling safer yet?
Are you interested in finding out what the Feds have on you? TC Indymedia previously hosted a workshop with Rich Neumeister & Coleen Rowley on how to do FOIA requests like the one that generated this material. Get your FBI FOIA via ACLU-Oregon instructions.
FBI Midwest Anarchist Paranoia: Cases 100A-OM-51967 & 266H-OM-52112 To "Claim Statistical Achievement"For Great Justice!
These excerpts are mostly in sequential order from the document release. They chart the details and results of the FBI's two Iowa spying campaigns, from the kickoff 'predicate' findings to launch the investigation, to scribbled field notes & cell phone logs, to the closing 'cleanup' messages. For more on the cryptic codes, see How to Read an FBI File from HistoryofPhonePhreaking.org. See also FBI Files Abbreviations.
Every FBI case has 'serial' files. A handy tip as seen on the first part we look at: Serial numbers are frequently handwritten in the lower right-hand corner of the front of the document in large letters. They consist of the file number (without the HQ or Field Office identifier) followed by a dash and the serial number.
At the beginning, the FBI Omaha Squad 6, Cedar Rapids Resident Agency or Agent (RA) opens a case titled "Wild Rose Rebellion" on March 12, 2008. SA = Special Agent. You can see this is serial #2 of the whole FBI casefile, 100A-OM-51967. (OM means Omaha, 100A can mean the US Code violation they're suggesting). Classic: the Hoover-Esque bold/typewriter/redacted aesthetic, unchecked federal paranoia at its most pure. This kicks off the "ROUTINE" formalized FBI concept of the Wild Rose Rebellion, from which many Statistical Accomplishments can be claimed, like Nintendo Golden Coins for GMen.
The second page of real material (p13 in the PDF) shows the apparently important 'Accomplishment Information'. Similar things are in a 2005 animal rights-related FOIA posted by the ACLU for example. "Statistical Accomplishments" are a main metric for FBI career progress. According to NorthJersey.com, infamous shock jock & FBI informant/operative Hal Turner boasted of major 'statistical accomplishments'. This is the primary career incentive to fabricate terrorism cases into (and outside) the FBI:
The next part is interesting because it's essentially the bootup script of an FBI Terrorism Enterprise spying campaign, "document SAC [Special Agent in Charge] Omaha Division authority to open a new Terrorism Enterprise Preliminary Investigation" targeted at a mysterious WILD ROSE REBELLION of Iowa City. Notice the "Attn: Squad 5" area -- all those squads are under Omaha it appears. SSA is Supervisory Special Agent. IA is Intelligence Agent. It looks like Squads 5, 7 and 9 are controlled by Omaha, and further indications of their structure appears later. "Counterterrorism" is probably among the main FBI headquarters branch - more on that below.
The only tangible is the intangible "potentially criminal acts" -- the originating office (OO) is OM - Omaha. What a great title ... case 100A-OM-51967 (Pending) has expanded its Title into the exciting WILD ROSE REBELLION - A RESISTENCE BETWEEN TWO RIVERS aka UNCONVENTIONAL ACTION - MIDWEST; TERRORISM ENTERPRISE INVESTIGATION.
ALL CAPS excitement! "Vacillating" anarchists... The FOIA did not actually produce the TEI (Terrorism Enterprise Investigation) Goals and Objectives, sadly.
This next bit includes the magical command words incarnating the FBI's powers to arbitrarily turn yr life upside down. CDC Omaha can "finds the predication for this TEI exists" because it contains essentially anything possibly illegal. (What does CDC acronym mean though?) Clearly here there is no indication of any criteria resembling actual terrorism, namely real threats to people's safety. Instead it is basically proven here: if you try to plan anything illegal then the Midwest FBI TEI Predicate is Good To Go, and the garbage searching and cellphone subpoenas May Commence!
What could possibly go wrong? Time to setup a network of federal terror investigations! Interestingly we next find the setting of "leads" in different FBI branches as triggers, as the Omaha FBI office lays total claim of ownership to controlling the WILD ROSE REBELLION situation.
The Omaha Field Intelligence Group is activated, as well as the Cedar Rapids Resident Agency.
The next order sets the trigger for collecting drivers license and other data from investigation targets, at least "provides identifying information of [redacted] LNU" ... This is all kicking off in March 2008. Squad 9 is revealed as part of the Field Intelligence Group (FIG), and again OO means Originating Office, OM is Omaha (In the Case ID, OM also means Omaha). LNU means Last Name Unknown.
This one also is Omaha FIG = Yes stamped/checked, kind of an interesting stamp. FBI documents have an unique structure: hidden blocks, key handwritten additions and stamped acts-of-acceptance. Good example here. This info came through the "FIG" or Field Intelligence Group, the purely-FBI-based workgroup in each main FBI field office under the Directorate of Intelligence.
The methods used to track people they found in Iowa get spelled out to some extent. NCIC is the National Crime Information Center. Interestingly, some secret commercial database and LexisNexis play a major role in investigations. The ACS is the Automated Case Support system, a decidedly antiquated system which SAIC and other contractors have profitably tried, and failed, to replace. (LexisNexis has many special data operations it markets to law enforcement & intelligence - see the Data Analytics Supercomputer & Advanced Investigative Solutions!) Sekrit NexisLexis? Look carefully - federal panopticon typo LOLs=teh best!
Federal grant programs finance the production and publication of exciting & ridiculous documents like the "Extremist Symbols, Tattoos and Terminology" pamphlet. (Look for the grant numbers to trace who's riding the gravy train.) They may be referring to a flyer like this one, financed by Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant # 2007-MU-BX-K002, which also spawned a number of other similar goofy advisories across many industries nationwide.
Clearly indicated here: propagandizing law enforcement against anarchist tattoos. The so-called "Joint Terrorism Task Force" layer of operations is clearly the main group involved in Cruising Around.
Omaha FBI executed one hell of a garbage surveillance plan in here -- Total Garbage Awareness? The federal garbage surveillance diagrams are amazing--look thru the doc to see them. [Remember, this is where your counter-terror resources were put.]
One interesting aspect is how "leads" are formalized and distributed around the anti-Anarchist Fed network. Ramsey County deemed plenty of imaginary information appropriate... Minneapolis considered it covered. Lulz...
More interesting stuff from analysts including LexisNexis and Microsoft Streets & Trips.
The query system for LexisNexis phone numbers is powerful stuff with records back to 1988 in this case.
Not released in FOIA: some CDs that looked like this. Note the case number on discs. Graffiti ticked off Feds real well - they tend to see it as the key symbols to unravelling criminal realities evidently. (100A-OM-51967)
The real raw stuff here. The intrepid Joe Fridays and Jack Bauers of the Pretend Time Iowa Rose Rebellion CounterTerrorism Force made lots of notes of comings-and goings when doing active surveillance outside restaurants. You do not want to appear on stuff like this.
Just another Minnesota tag parked near Deadwood, in the 21st Century Midwest Surveillance State...
These surveillance photos have not been released yet but their existence is disclosed in the FOIA. "Surveillances" should go into Urban Dictionary.
A lot of Iowa DOT vehicle info collected...
Direct Action Skill Share recording at College Green park - content not shared on this FOIA, but weird looking snazzy pic included ["Hi-8 Videocassette" looks photoshopped?] Everyone coming & going got logged, but apparently no audio they claim.
Now the structure of overall Joint Terrorism Task Force busywork comes into view. We can see the Iowa City spy project gave the University of Iowa Public Safety and Coralville JTTF officers something to do. TFO means Task Force Officer. SA is Special Agent. It's worth wondering whether University of Minnesota JTTF-related officers are spying on groups like SDS - this is really where data requests could reveal what is going on at the state level. What accountability can University of Iowa students obtain towards the Iowa Joint Terrorism Task Force?
The ever-popular US Attorneys Office (USAO) of the Southern District of Iowa (motto: "MOAR Corn & Creative Paranoia") "stated their support of opening a criminal investigation" . No one ever picked up any federal charges resembling this stuff, yet the mere hypothetical prospect of it was more than enough for the South Iowa Justice League to back this thing up. You can really have a lot of fun in these cases without ticking off any rich white people.
Again this gives away that it has nothing to do with 'real terrorism', instead the looser "apparent willingness to risk arrest at the RNC conceivably by violating the criminal laws" is the threshold for make total orwell.
Gotta check "each" everyone & see what goals they're trying to further when "their continued association with individuals/groups who espouse disrupting the RNC":
Heavily redacted RNC arrest reports follow, and the investigation gets wound down because they apparently have nothing on anyone from Iowa. It's time to claim FBI bonus points. Omaha Squad 6 / Cedar Rapids Resident Agency claims POSITIVE TERRORISM Statistical Accomplishment on September 9, 2008. This appears to be the main work product of the investigation. Even though there wasn't any terrorism... Bravo FBI Cedar Rapids Resident Agent Squad 6!
Again - "Statistical Accomplishment," especially easy pretend accomplishments, are the Coin of The Realm in career advancement -- this is proof of a crucial reason why individual federal agents are motivated to create fake terrorism situations. Squad 6 is definitely with Cedar Rapids Resident Agent (or Agency) and apparently contactable via a Special Agent (not a Resident Agent).
The October 21, 2008 has another helpful batch of notifications. DTOU is the national FBI Domestic Terrorism Operations Unit (see this OIG report involving the 2004 RNC/DNC & DTOU investigations). "DT" means Domestic Terrorism.
The "Anarchists Team" appears a subteam of "Domestic Terrorism Operations 5" under the national FBI command structure. (Or not? Justice.gov FBI counterterror org chart). Thus did the Feds "DT-OPS 5 Anarchists Team" get revealed. Squads 5, 7 and 9 appear to be inside Omaha FBI as noted above.
DT-OPS 5 and "Anarchists Teams" proven via the Leads connections to the Domestic Terrorism Operations Unit.
The log file of surveillance files, with that anachronistic FBI line-printer charm we know and love. This index shows how Case ID 100A-OM-51967 is appended #20-26 items originating with Omaha field office.
Squad 6 definitely has the Cedar Rapids Resident Agent.
These are FBI case file numbers...
But why have one case when you can have two? Starting June 3rd, 2008, time to kick off yet another FBI investigation, case 266H-OM-52112, which got dumped right into the Terrorism filez. The 2008RNC spawned more espionage dubbed "spin-off" cases. Toll record information is cell phone info, and lots of it. Lots. The analysts combed all the numbers called, hundreds, and wrote about the patterns including how voicemails worked.
The goal is to find out if they are bad kids! A nice open-ended investigation, conveniently without a concrete base in any crimes.
This spin-off case sends its targets' info into TREX. TREX is the FBI Terrorist Review and Examination Unit. VGTOF is the Violent Gang and Terrorist Organization File, run by the NCIC. VGTOF and TREX are basically the Terrorism Watch List system, as well as sources for the Investigative Data Warehouse, which is referenced elsewhere, and the Terrorist Screening Database. So yes if you land here, you are basically referenced as a terrorist to the Feds.
A ton of cell phone records get traced thoroughly, FBI analysts looking for connections. They did not censor a lot of phone numbers.
This is all about targeting Minnesotans. I blocked out all the numbers in red -- probably they were released by the FBI because the phone record belongs to its owner.
Squad 9 is connected to the Des Moines Resident Agency and Omaha FBI Field Intelligence Group.
Again we see the layout of several squads concerned with anarchists. The first branch seems to be the national set, the Squad 5/7/9 are controlled by Omaha.
The pages sent near the dates of the RNC are heavily censored, but they had to shut both cases down by the end of 2008. This is how you say FAIL in FBI Orwell Speak, including pulling "You == Terrorist" entries out of VGTOF. Sadly US Attorneys of Southern District of Iowa had to fold up their fishing expedition, but with whetted appetites they would soon be back for Scott & Carrie!
"Set Lead" upon Close Case Investigation: Triggers set to activate FBI Anarchists Teams, and also to pull out the hapless targets from the VGTOF and TREX terrorist files!
And that's pretty much how two heavily censored FBI terrorism investigation FOIA reports map out.
We've learned quite a bit about how each FBI case can easily lead to getting placed in the TREX/VGTOF terrorist tracking database without any real finding of threatening evidence. Again refer to getting your FBI FOIA info via ACLU-Oregon, and it might be amusing to bug your elected officials about how this whole Cointelpro Gothic scheme really works.
This report was mostly written just before the Minneapolis antiwar activist FBI raids on Sept 24 2010. Weird week... Contact firstname.lastname@example.org . This Friday 6-8 PM, join us for a discussion on the FBI and more totally new documented, RNC-related and surprisingly insane Homeland Security findings on Axxiom For Liberty - tune in @ RuleofLawRadio.com.