In October 2011, when the Occupy movement arrived in Houston, protesters were subject to local and federal surveillance, infiltration by police provocateurs, and police assault. Now, Dave Lindorff reports, a document obtained in December 2012 from the Houston FBI office shows that the agency was aware of a plot to assassinate Occupy movement leaders—and did nothing about it.
The document, obtained as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Washington, DC-based Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, reads in part:
“An identified [DELETED] as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors (sic) in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary. An identified [DELETED] had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. [DELETED] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles.”
As of June 2013, Lindorff reports, the FBI knows the identity of the person(s) who planned the sniper attacks, but have not released any names. The head of the FBI’s media office, Paul Bresson, explained, “the FOIA documents that you reference are redacted in several places pursuant to FOIA and privacy laws that govern the release of such information so therefore I am unable to help fill in the blanks… [I]f the FBI was aware of credible and specific information involving a murder plot, law enforcement would have responded with appropriate action.”
Occupy Houston activists have speculated that the wording “if deemed necessary” might indicate that the unidentified plotter was an organization, such as the police or a private security group. Documents from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security identify Occupy as a “terrorist” activity.
The FBI has a record of orchestrating attacks on citizen organizations deemed to be threats. For example, the Church Committee hearings of the 1970s revealed that the FBI orchestrated local police attacks (in Chicago, San Francisco and New York) on leaders of the Black Panther.
Source: Dave Lindorff, “FBI Document—‘[DELETED]’ Plots to Kill Occupy Leaders ‘If Deemed Necessary,’” Who What Why, June 27, 2013, http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/06/27/fbi-document-deleted-plots-to-kill-occupy-leaders-if-deemed-necessary/.
Student Researcher: Danielle Davis (Sonoma State University)
Factulty Evaluator: Robert Switky (Sonoma State University)