FBI Raids Seattle IMC

Tony Tracy tony at SPAMtao.ca
Tue Apr 24 16:04:53 MDT 2001

I just read about this a couple of minutes ago -- although this apparently
occured on Saturday night (just subsequent to the Rally & March at the
Peace Arch border crossing which is just north of Seattle and just south
of Vancouver, and after two days of militant actions in Quebec City), I
haven't seen any mention of it elsewhere... Thought comrades on this list
would be interested...

 - Tony


FBI raids media center

Stolen security plan for Quebec meeting was put on Internet here

Tuesday, April 24, 2001


Security plans intended to protect Western leaders attending a trade
summit in Quebec City were stolen from a car there over the weekend and
posted, hours later, on a Seattle-based Web site, authorities said

On Saturday night, FBI agents raided the offices of the Independent Media
Center in downtown Seattle, seizing computer-log records, according to
federal sources.

No arrests have been made.

Center spokeswoman Sherry Herndon said she and other staff have been told
"not to talk about" the incident under threat of being held in contempt of

She referred inquiries to attorney Bob Goodman of the Center for
Constitutional Rights in New York City, who also declined comment.

He said the court order that was served on the IMC "contains a fairly
broad gag order; therefore, we cannot talk."

The three-day summit, which experienced mass protests similar to those
that rocked Seattle during the 1999 World Trade Organization conference,
ended Sunday without serious security incidents. Virtually every head of
state in the Western Hemisphere with the exception of Cuba's Fidel Castro
was in attendance.

No mention of the FBI raid could be found yesterday on the IMC Web site.
But the organization's home page carried a boldface note stating,
"Everything is fine at the Seattle IMC. We will keep you posted on any
further developments."

One federal criminal justice source said the speed with which the
sensitive stolen document appeared on the Internet speaks to the
sophistication of the movement that is opposed to unrestricted global

"The fact that you have something of this magnitude out there on the Web,
it really shows these groups are strong, resourceful and resilient," the
source said.

The IMC calls itself "a collective of independent media organizations and
hundreds of journalists offering grass-roots, non-corporate,
non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues."

The organization has committed "no clear-cut violation of U.S. law" by
posting the document on the Web, and the action may be protected as free
speech, according to federal criminal justice sources.

President Bush, who attended the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit,
was not placed at risk, according to one source.

The breach of security, however, is another embarrassment for the Canadian
government, which recently lost a highly sensitive, anti-terrorism
document. It was stolen from a government official's car while he was
attending a hockey game.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police referred a call for comment on the IMC
incident to Quebec Provincial Police, which was in charge of security at
the summit. No one was available to comment on the matter yesterday at
police headquarters in Montreal.

P-I reporter Paul Shukovsky can be reached at 206-448-8072 or
paulshukovsky at seattle-pi.com

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