The FBI has had antiwar and solidarity activists from Chicago and Minneapolis in their sights for the past months. by Committee to Stop FBI Repression
On January 25th, twelve anti-war and international solidarity activists will be expected to appear before a grand jury in Chicago. They and eleven others from Chicago and the Twin Cities area in Minnesota in the past months were subpoenaed. Several of the activists had their homes raided. Documents, cell phones, storage disks, computers, and children's artwork were seized from their home. The subpoenas indicated the FBI was looking for evidence that the activists had provided "material support for terrorism." And, recently, it was discovered that the FBI had an informant, who went by the name of "Karen Sullivan," infiltrated an anti-war group in the Twin Cities.
I have personally interviewed many of the activists being targeted and have found no evidence that either should be facing any FBI investigation. A "witch-hunt" began on September 24th and, since then, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has been working to get activists to testify before a grand jury in Chicago. So far, all the activists have refused to participate in this "fishing expedition."
Over the next few weeks, I will publish profiles of each of the activists the FBI is targeting. Each article published will tell the story of one activist and how he or she is being harassed and intimidated for exercising his or her right to organize and speak out against their government and the policies of their government in places like Colombia and Palestine.
Anh Pham and her husband were still in bed when the FBI came to their home on September 24th. Pham's husband went to the door and returned to tell Pham that FBI agents were at the door and wanted to speak to her. Pham asked him if they had a warrant. Pham's husband didn't know. Pham left the bedroom with her husband to go see if the FBI had a warrant, but by that time it was "almost a moot point." The FBI had let their selves into Pham's house.
The FBI presented Pham with a warrant. It said they were going to search through her apartment for any evidence that she had given "material aid to terrorism." They particularly wanted to know if she had helped the revolutionary forces of Colombia (FARC) or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). They mentioned her work with the Anti-War Committee and her relationship with the Freedom Road Socialists in Minnesota. Specifically, they used the words "my indoctrination," and wanted to know about her "indoctrination" into the Anti-War Committee (AWC) and these groups.
Following presentation of the warrant, the FBI handed a subpoena to Pham, which said she had to appear before a grand jury on October 5, 2010. Then, they proceeded to put up 8 - by 11 sheets of paper with letters in the rooms of Pham's apartment. They told her and her husband to sit in the living room and proceeded to take photographs of all the rooms and search everything in the apartment--clothing, photographs, cook books, patterns, etc.