FBI raids homes of anti-war activists

Federal agents searched homes of anti-war activists in Chicago and Minneapolis Sept. 24 in an investigation of possible links with terrorist organizations. Some 20 FBI agents spent most of the day searching the Logan Square residence of activists Stephanie Weiner and Joseph Iosbaker. In Jefferson Park, neighbors saw FBI agents carrying boxes from the apartment of community activist Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the Arab American Action Network. Chicago activist Thomas Burke said he was served a grand jury subpoena that requested records of any payments to Abudayyeh or his group.

“The warrants are seeking evidence in support of an ongoing Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation into activities concerning the material support of terrorism,” said Steve Warfield, spokesman for the FBI in Minneapolis, where six homes were searched. Warfield said no arrests had been made and that there was no “imminent danger” to the public.

Burke said he received a grand jury subpoena requesting records of payments to Abudayyeh’s organization as well as two groups among the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The subpoena also requested “items relating to trips to Colombia, Jordan, Syria, the Palestinian territories of Israel.” Burke, a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, said he toured Colombia eight years ago with members of an oil workers union there. Most of the targeted activists attended protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. Several of those targeted are also contributors to Fight Back! online newsletter, or members of the Twin Cities-area Anti-War Committee. (Minnesota Independent, Sept. 25; Chicago Tribune, Sept. 24)

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