“Operation Tripwire”– the FBI, the Private Sector and the Monitoring of Occupy Wall Street
By Beau Hodai, December 30, 2012
Records obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy (DBA/CMD) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request indicate that the FBI employed tactics under a “counter terrorism” initiative called “Operation Tripwire” in the monitoring of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists.
[Note: records referenced in this article were obtained by DBA/CMD on November 8, 2012, as a partial response to a FOIA request submitted by DBA/CMD to the FBI on June 7, 2012. DBA/CMD have been analyzing these incomplete materials along with other public records to tell a more complete story of the pattern of domestic surveillance that has been underway.]
“Tripwires,” Mall Cops, and “Radical Cheerleaders
On October 19, 2011, an FBI agent filed a report, titled “Domain Program Management [,] Domestic Terrorism,” detailing an October 11 briefing given to “Jacksonville Executive Management” (EM) and a supervisory special agent (SSA) “Counter Terrorism Program Coordinator.” The subject of the October 11 briefing had been the potential growth of the OWS movement throughout north/central Florida. (All agent names were redacted from this, and other, FBI reports.)
“During the 11 October intelligence meeting, writer advised EM of the Occupy venues and further advised that they may provide an outlet for a lone offender exploiting the movement for reasons associated with general government dissatisfaction,” wrote the agent, who went on to say that special areas of concern were Daytona, Gainesville, and Ocala, where “some of the highest unemployment rates in Florida continue to exist.”
As such, the report’s author recommended that the Counter Terrorism Program Coordinator, “consider establishing tripwires with the Occupy event coordinators regarding their observance of actions or comments indicating violent tendencies by attendees” (emphasis added). Continue reading