FBI, ” on occasion, law enforcement officers take additional steps by conducting surveillance on groups of protestors, collecting information or intelligence about protestors, or commencing an investigation directed at members of a group. Although, in many situations, these law enforcement activities may be permissible, they carry the potential to raise important constitutional and public concerns to which law enforcement agencies should be sensitive.“
Fox reports that the FBI has long warned of potential dangers posed by “anarchist extremism,” particularly during global summits and big events hosted in the United States.
The federal law enforcement official told Fox News there is “no credible threat” tied to international terrorism, but there is always concern that big events such as the political conventions are “attractive targets.”
According to Government Security News, which covers homeland security and IT issues, the behavioral recognition software from BRS Labs will be deployed in video cameras anywhere from a few block to a few miles around the convention sites.
Law enforcement officials are concerned about possible violence by anarchist extremists at the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions, according to an intelligence bulletin prepared by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.
The seven-page bulletin, obtained by WBTV, outlines information about potential anarchist extremism-related violent criminal activity and threats to public safety during the national political conventions, which start next week in Tampa.
At one point, the Joint Intelligence Bulletin states that anarchists could try to use improvised explosive devices.
“Anarchist extremists and other domestic extremist groups probably lack the capability to overcome the heightened security measures at the RNC and DNC venues,” the report states, “but could target nearby infrastructure, including local businesses or transportation systems and law enforcement personnel.”
The report states that a majority of anarchist activities during major events usually involve acts of property damage, vandalism and trespassing. Past extremists have escalated to violent tactics such as assault and arson.
According to the unclassified document, individuals were reported coordinating criminal actions against the Bank of America in Charlotte, via a free downloadable software application, in May 2012.
A spokesperson for the Charlotte office of the FBI told WBTV that she could not comment on the document.
“I can tell you the FBI utilizes a variety of means to communicate with law enforcement and share information to assist in their overall situational awareness.” she told WBTV.
The document notes anarchists have a history of trying to disrupt major events.
“During past national and international political and economic events, anarchist extremists have blocked streets, intersections, and bridges to disrupt or impede local business operations and public transportation access and, in some instances have initiated violent confrontations with police,” the document states.
“FBI and DHS assess with high confidence anarchist extremists will target similar infrastructure in Tampa and Charlotte, with potentially significant impacts on public safety and transportation,” according to the law enforcement alert.
The FBI routinely issues intelligence bulletins in advance of many major events to warn local law enforcement of possible security concerns.
The bulletin says that law enforcement agencies believe most protesters at the conventions will obey laws and not commit violent acts, but that anarchists are the most likely exceptions.
The notice warns of certain things state and local law enforcement should be on the watch for.
Those include anarchists acquiring materials that could be used to make improvised explosive devices, obtaining firearms training and preparing for violence with groups they oppose — such as white supremacists.
Anarchists often research potential targets, according to the bulletin.
“Extremists will likely use secure communication methods and social networking sites, Internet chat rooms, message boards, and mobile devices such as smart phones to coordinate and facilitate violence or criminal activity,” the document states.
The report states that while the FBI and Homeland Security believe a majority of protesters at the DNC will be lawful and non-violent, the RNC will be a test for the extremists.
“The perceived success or failure of the anarchist extremists actions leading up to the conventions, as well as at the earlier RNC in Tampa, will likely impact the strategies of anarchist extremists preparing to disrupt the DNC.”