Tuesday, February 17, 2009

DHS Aided Maryland State Police in Tracking Activist Groups

Lisa Rein writes in The Washington Post:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security tracked the protest plans of a peaceful Washington area antiwar group and passed the information to the Maryland State Police, which had previously labeled the activists as terrorists in an intelligence file.

The federal agency obtained two e-mails containing plans for upcoming demonstrations at a military recruiting center in Silver Spring in 2005, the first indication that DHS might have worked with the police to monitor advocacy groups. The notification by DHS appears in a state police file on the DC Anti-War Network, or DAWN, provided to The Washington Post under the Public Information Act.

The file is one of five created by the state police on the antiwar group in 2005 and 2006. Along with 53 individuals and about two dozen other protest groups, including Amnesty International and CASA of Maryland, the network was labeled a terrorist group in an internal police database. Police have said the names were not put on federal anti-terrorism lists.

An entry in the D.C. network's file dated June 21, 2005, notes that the DHS office in Atlanta forwarded two e-mails from an affiliate of the group, the name of which was redacted from the document provided to The Post. The state police file states: "Activists [from DAWN] are going to stage several small (12-15) weekly demonstrations at the Silver Spring Armed Forces Recruitment Center. If there is enough support these will become weekly vigils." According to the file, the protests were peaceful.

More here.


Post a Comment

<< Home