The Republican National Convention in Tampa
DX4AURTRSGHA “The FBI and DHS anticipate the majority of individuals protesting at the RNC and DNC will act lawfully and non-violently and that any illegal disruptions employing violence to police or other threats to public safety likely would originate from anarchist extremists.”
The Republican National Convention in Tampa could easily erupt into a small war as groups who are very angry with the current state of United States government converge or the 2012 event in Florida. The Republican National Convention website 2012tampa.com states that the RNC event is one of four National Special Security Events (NSSE) to be held in 2012; other examples of potential NSSE events include G-8/G-20 Summits and the World Bank/IMF meetings.
The Department of Homeland Security has been beefing up for this event. This years Republican National Convention is a junction being set up for disaster. A hurricane, Isaac, is closing in on what will already be a volatile mix of Republicans, Democrats, Tea Party Patriots, Occupy Protestors, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists and the United States military.
Dated the 21st of August, 2012 the following is an FBI and Department of Homeland Security warning that anarchist extremists could use explosives during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
Potential for Violence or Criminal Activity by Anarchist Extremists During the 2012 National Political Conventions
21 August 2012
This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) is intended to provide information on potential anarchist extremism-related violent criminal activity and threats to public safety during the 2012 national political conventions. This information is provided to support the activities of the FBI and DHS and to assist other federal, state, and local counterterrorism and law enforcement officials in identifying protective and support measures relating to existing or emerging threats to homeland security. Within the context of this product, FBI and DHS do not consider civil disobedience tactics, such as protests without a permit, to constitute criminal activities about which we are concerned.
The FBI and DHS assess with high confidence, based on analysis of past similar, high-profile events, anarchist extremists are preparing to use violence and criminal tactics in an attempt to disrupt the Republican National Convention (RNC) planned for 26-30 August in Tampa, Florida and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) planned for 3-6 September in Charlotte, North Carolina.*,† Anarchist extremists and other domestic extremist groups probably lack the capability to overcome the heightened security measures at the RNC and DNC venues, but could target nearby infrastructure, including local businesses or transportation systems and law enforcement personnel.
The FBI and DHS assess with medium confidence anarchist extremists may travel from states outside of Florida and North Carolina to engage in criminal activity during the conventions.
The most serious threat to persons and property during the conventions continues to emanate from anarchist extremists willing to use improvised incendiary devices (IIDs) or improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The majority of criminal activity undertaken by anarchist extremists during major events, such as the upcoming political conventions, usually involves acts of property damage, vandalism, and trespassing— which typically violate local ordinances or state laws, but may also violate federal laws. Previous anarchist extremist disruptions at major events have escalated to violent tactics such as assault and arson. Anarchist extremists tend to target entities associated with financial institutions, multi-national corporations, commercial businesses, government, and law enforcement. Historically, anarchist extremists have threatened public safety by establishing blockades and placing obstacles on roads and injuring law enforcement officers and others present at targeted areas.
Anarchist extremists often research potential targets in preparation for possible violent or criminal actions during a major event. Readily accessible online training guides can provide anarchist extremists with instruction on enhancing pre-operational planning capabilities, such as performing surveillance and reconnaissance.
On 30 April 2012, federal authorities arrested five self-described anarchists for allegedly plotting to blow up the Cuyahoga Valley Bridge in Cleveland, Ohio on May Day 2012. They conducted surveillance and Internet research on various locations prior to their arrests, according to the federal criminal complaint.
In February 2008, a known member of a self-described anarchist/anti-authoritarian group that was facilitating resistance to the RNC released a video map of St. Paul, Minnesota’s critical infrastructure “points of interest” on a publicly available Web site.
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 the police. Prior to the 2008 RNC, anarchist extremists discussed blockading bridges and skywalks in Minneapolis, Minnesota; targeting local corporate headquarters; taking over a radio station; and identifying delegate lodging locations and the location of police stations and emergency routes. 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 FBI reporting, as of mid-March 2012, individuals associated with anarchist extremism from New York “planned to travel to Tampa and attempt to close” (no further information) all the Tampa Bay-area bridges during the RNC.
According to FBI reporting, as of March 2012, individuals associated with anarchist extremism proposed an “asymmetric approach” to engaging in potentially destructive criminal activities against critical infrastructure outside the security perimeter throughout the Tampa Bay region because they expected access to the main RNC venue to be tightly controlled.
The FBI and DHS assess with high confidence, on the basis of law enforcement and source reporting, anarchist extremists have learned from their past activity to become more technologically sophisticated and operationally skilled in tactics used to criminally and violently disrupt major events. Anarchist extremist proficiency at mass mobilizations has likely improved as a result of cumulative learned experiences during other events. The FBI and DHS assess anarchist extremists may attempt to facilitate violent criminal activity at the upcoming national political conventions by coordinating mass-mobilization efforts through the use of wireless devices, conducting pre-event training on techniques for disrupting infrastructure and violently confronting law enforcement, and exploiting lawful protest activity.
The FBI and DHS assess anarchist 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 threatening public safety and to exchange operational information such as law enforcement positions and rally points.
In preparation for the 2008 RNC, a communications collective was established as a resource to support criminal activity.* The FBI and DHS assess anarchist extremists may continue to form communications collectives at future events to support criminal activity.
During the 2008 RNC, anarchist extremists also used the social networking site Twitter to alert one another of impending law enforcement actions as well as to exploit areas where law enforcement were absent.
In May 2012, individuals coordinating criminal actions against the Bank ofAmericaUSPER inCharlottecommunicatedbyusingafreedownloadablesoftware application.
In May 2012, individuals associated with anarchist extremism present at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Chicago, Illinois likely received information and instructions through a free group text messaging service.
Violent criminal activity by anarchist extremists often occurs when small groups of extremists separate from larger, lawful protest groups and use “black bloc” tactics to facilitate criminal activity or violence in furtherance of their ideology. Individuals egaging in “black bloc” tactics typically dress completely in black and cover their faces with masks or bandannas to conceal their identity as they commit illegal acts such as vandalism, property destruction, and occasionally acts of violence which have included throwing Molotov cocktails, flaming torches, or acid-filled eggs at law enforcement.
In June 2012, three anarchist extremists were indicted on state charges in Illinois for conspiracy to commit terrorism, providing material support for terrorism, and possession of explosives or incendiary devices in connection with allegedly plotting attacks against the NATO Summit in Chicago. According to court documents, the extremists allegedly plotted to attack four Chicago police substations with “destructive devices” during lawful NATO protests.
Local media reports alleged anarchist extremists dressed in all black clothing smashed windows at a local bank and threw an incendiary device at a former federal building during May Day protests in Seattle, Washington this year.
According to court documents, the self-described anarchists arrested for allegedly plotting to blow up the Cuyahoga Valley Bridge in Cleveland tried to procure C4 explosives and planned to use the city’s regularly scheduled May Day holiday protests as a diversion for the attack.
Anarchist extremists often train for infrastructure disruption and violent confrontations with law enforcement. In early 2008, tactics for use in violently disrupting the 2008 RNC and DNC were taught at an open conference at a university in the state of Washington. The tactics addressed in the training included using items such as enhanced shields, batons, liquid sprayers, and fireworks to confront police; employing scouts to provide information on law enforcement positions; understanding military/SWAT hand signals; and using protective gear such as swim goggles, bike helmets, and gas masks.*,† The FBI and DHS assess similar types of training efforts will likely occur prior to the 2012 conventions.
According to law enforcement reporting, training to assist individuals injured during possible criminal activities conducted in furtherance of anarchist extremism occurred prior to the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago and will likely occur in anticipation of confrontations with law enforcement during the RNC and DNC. Anarchist extremists are possibly planning to instigate violent confrontations with law enforcement and other criminal actions if their plans include preparing for injuries.
The FBI and DHS anticipate the majority of individuals protesting at the RNC and DNC will act lawfully and non-violently and that any illegal disruptions employing violence to police or other threats to public safety likely would originate from anarchist extremists. Given the historical precedence and recent arrests, we assess anarchist extremists will likely continue to exploit lawful protests to facilitate violent criminal activity at events like the upcoming political conventions. The perceived success or failure of anarchist extremist actions at events 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, occurring the following week just 600 miles north.