Eveline Lubbers on Wed, 14 Jun 2000 18:10:36 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> COINTELPRO targets anti-globalization movement

Newsgroups: misc.activism.progressive
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000

Report on Federal Anti-Activist Intelligence Network
By Frank Morales

On May 4, 2000, the Intelligence Newsletter, based in Paris, France,
published a report which stated that "sources close to the Washington DC
Metropolitan Police have given Intelligence Newsletter details about
intelligence units that gather information on anti-globalization militants
in the US and elsewhere". (1) In addition, the same sources said that
during the April 17 Break the World Bank DC protests, "reserve units from
the US Army Intelligence and Security Command helped Washington police keep
an eye on demonstrations staged at the World Bank/IMF meetings." In
addition, the French intelligence service report notes that "the Pentagon
sent around 700 men from the Intelligence and Security Command at Fort
Belvoir to assist the Washington police on April 17, including specialists
in human and signals intelligence. One unit was even strategically located
on the fourth floor balcony in a building at 1919 Pennsylvania Avenue with
a birds-eye view of most demonstrators."

According to the report, information on the protest movements is collected
and stored by six Regional Information Sharing System (RISS) centers funded
by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance. Ostensibly these
intelligence centers are set up to counter organized crime, drugs and
terrorism but it takes no great stretch to comprehend how civil
disobedience, once defined as a terrorist threat and/or criminal conspiracy
would, or has become a target. According to the Intelligence Newsletter
report, "the RISS also act against any political activist group deemed to
be a threat and over the last year has found itself focusing on
anti-globalization groups." In addition, the report notes that in order "to
justify their interest in anti-globalization groups from a legal
standpoint, the authorities lump them into a category of terrorist
organizations. Among those considered as such at present are Global Justice
(the group that organized the April 17 demonstration), Earth First,
Greenpeace, American Indian Movement, Zapatista National Liberation Front
and Act-Up." Although this story has yet to be verified, given the
existence of RISS and the paranoid proclivities of the US national security
state and its civil disturbance planning apparatus, we should assume the
report is accurate.

According to RISS program documents (2), the agency is set up to "share
intelligence and coordinate efforts against criminal networks that operate
in many locations across jurisdictional lines." The program "serves more
than 5,300 member law enforcement agencies" across the country including
the FBI, DEA, IRS, Secret Service, Customs and the BATF. It is overseen by
the Bureau of Justice Assistance, State and Local Assistance Division, 810
Seventh Street, NW, Washington, DC (202-305-2923). Its immediateoverseer is
the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR), PO Box 12729,
Tallahassee, Florida, (850-385-0600). The IIR also sponsors the State and
Local Anti-Terrorism Training program (SLATT) which provides, via its
"extremist research experts", "training and information to state and local
law enforcement personnel in the areas of domestic anti-terrorism and
extremist criminal activity." (3) The FBI's National Security Division
Training Unit is a partner with IIR in providing SLATT training nationally.

According to a 1999 Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) report on RISS, the
six federally funded Regional Information Sharing System centers are
financed "to support law enforcement efforts to combat multi-jurisdictional
criminal conspiracies and activities." (4) The six centers, the Middle
Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network, Newtown, PA,
the Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center, Springfield, MO, the New
England State Police Information Network, Franklin, MA, the Rocky Mountain
Information Network, Phoenix, AR, the Regional Organized Crime Information
Center, Nashville, TN, and the Western States Information Network,
Sacramento, CA, are set up in such a way that "each center's staff possess
sufficient flexibility to tailor the individual center's priorities and
operations to the particular- perhaps unique - needs of the region."
According to the BJA report, the centers "maintain pools of specialized
investigative equipment for loan to participating member agencies",
including "photographic, communications (and) surveillance" equipment. In
addition, "all six RISS Intelligence Centers have confidential funds
available to member agencies for the purchase of investigative information,
contraband, stolen property, and other items of an evidentiary nature. The
net amount of confidential funds provided by the centers to member agencies
totaled $265,526 for 1998."

According to the Intelligence Newsletter report cited earlier, it's the
Mid-Atlantic Network, based in Newtown, Pennsylvania, whose region includes
New York and the District of Columbia, that is particularly efficient in
activist spy work. According to the report, that center "distributes
intelligence on the groups to other police departments via RISSNET,
enabling investigators to find links between the movements and look into
their finances, telephone calls and membership lists." According to
Mid-Atlantic Network documents, it was "initiated by the US Congress in
1974 to aid law enforcement agencies in targeting, identifying, and
removing multi-jurisdictional criminal elements." The Network offers a
"secure database containing information concerning known or suspected
criminals, businesses, organizations and their related identifying
information", along with "training in the seizure of computers." (5)

As mentioned earlier, the Intelligence Newsletter report claims that
hundreds of Army intelligence operatives were present during the DC
anti-World Bank demo. Again, with a premonition of tens of thousands of
protesters, it is quite likely that the report is accurate. After all, one
can rest assured that the Department of Defense Civil Disturbance Plan,
code-named Garden Plot, is especially fixated on defending the seat of
government (corporate) power in America. (6) That DC was flooded with
intelligence operatives and assorted government spies is, lamentably, quite
likely. The US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), cited in
the French report, is a "a major army command", which "conducts dominant
intelligence, security and information operations for military commanders
and national decision makers." (7) Based at Fort Belvoir, Flagler Road,
Virginia, (the Nolan Building) since 1989, INSCOM recently redesignated a
number of units including "the Continental United States Military
Intelligence Group that supported the National Security Agency and a number
of field stations."

According to military documents, during the course of the 90's, "INSCOM was
drawn into contingency operations other than war all over the globe" These
"contingency operations" or domestic military operations other than war,
are law enforcement "support missions" in civil disturbance suppression.
Quite possibly they are run out of the "Emergency Operations Center" at
Fort Belvoir. These operations have been enhanced with the recent creation
of the "National Ground Intelligence Center." Further, according to INSCOM,
"the mission of the Special Security Group that had disseminated Sensitive
Compartmented Information since World War II was drastically realigned. The
unit was redesignated and resubordinated to the 902nd Military Intelligence
Group." Some of this "sensitive" information is contained in so-called top
secret SAP programs. In this regard, INSCOM is in the business of
"providing counterintelligence support to the Army's growing number of
Special Access Programs -- highly sensitive projects which required
exceptional security measures." Actually, the gathering of intelligence
during the DC protest involves an even higher source, given that "in 1993
the Secretary of Defense ordered service human intelligence assets
consolidated under Defense Intelligence Agency control", at which time
"INSCOM turned over most of its human intelligence operations"

Intelligence Newsletter, No.381, "Watching Anti-WTO Crowd", May 4, 2000,

Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) Program, www.iir.com/riss/

State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) Program, www.iir.com/slatt/

Bureau of Justice assistance, The RISS Program, 1998,

Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network,

Frank Morales, "US Military Civil Disturbance Planning: The War at Home",
CovertAction Quarterly #69, Spring/Summer 2000, www.covertaction.org/

US Army Intelligence and Security Command, www.vulcan.belvoir.army.mil/

anti-sweatshop coalition (ASC)

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