FBI Spy Infiltrated Minnesota Peace Group

Remember a few months ago when members of an anti-war group had their homes and offices in Minneapolis and Chicago raided by the FBI? From CBS News, September 26, 2010:

The FBI said it searched eight addresses in Minneapolis and Chicago Friday. Warrants suggest agents were looking for connections between local anti-war activists and groups in Colombia and the Middle East.

[….]

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said Saturday that the bureau’s investigations “are predicated on criminal violations, not First Amendment protected activities.”

When reached Friday, FBI spokesman Steve Warfield declined to provide details of the searches, but said there was no imminent threat to the community and the agency wasn’t anticipating any arrests “at this time.” He said the FBI was seeking evidence related to “activities concerning the material support of terrorism.”

The peace activists were subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury in Chicago. The groups apparently were originally targeted after they participated in protests at the Republican Convention in 2008.

It turns out the FBI used a spy to infiltrate the Minnesota group and report back on their activities. Shades of COINTELPRO. Democracy Now reported on the story yesterday.

Here is some more information at Fight Back News.

Minneapolis, MN – At a press conference here, Jan. 12, Jess Sundin of the Twin Cites based Anti-War Committee (AWC) blasted police infiltration of the anti-war and international solidarity movement, stating, “We are here today to express outrage that our democratic rights have been violated by a government operation of spying, infiltration and disruption of our anti-war movement, which was carried out over the course of at least two and half years.”

The exposure of an undercover law enforcement agent in the Twin Cities anti-war movement is linked to the Sept. 24, 2010 FBI raids on peace and international solidarity organizers and the subpoenas that have been served on 23 activists to appear in front of a Chicago Grand Jury.

The infiltrator, who used the name ‘Karen Sullivan,’ joined the AWC in April 2008, and about a year later she joined the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. A statement from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression notes, “In conversations between our attorneys and the prosecutor’s office in Chicago, we have had confirmation that Karen Sullivan was in fact a law enforcement officer working undercover.”

Sundin said, “In April 2008, law enforcement officer Karen Sullivan joined the Anti-War Committee. In 2008, we were involved in organizing the anti-war marches on the first and last days of the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul. At that time, there was a massive security operation here which included the infiltration of the RNC Welcoming Committee. We now have it confirmed that in this same time period, we too became the subject of government investigation. The difference is that our spy made herself comfortable and decided to stay awhile, posing as a fellow anti-war activist and pretending to befriend us.”

Why is it always peace activists that the FBI targets rather than people who are likely to murder of abortion doctors or commit mass murder/political assassinations?